Monday, June 25, 2012

No help wanted

What's an unemployed law graduate to do these days? Go slightly west of the 100th meridian, young man:

The rural areas' biggest selling point is jobs, which have been hard for law graduates to land in recent years due to a nationwide glut of lawyers and a slump in the legal industry since the 2008 financial crisis. As of February, the employment rate for students who graduated in 2011 was about 86%, the lowest for a class since 1994, according to the National Association for Law Placement.  [A friendly request to Ashby Jones et. al.: please stop quoting this meaningless figure]

"The state of the current market…is the new normal," said Arturo Thompson, dean of career services at the University of Kansas School of Law.

But in parts of the rural Midwest, communities are itching for lawyers. "The job market is good for lawyers in the western and more rural parts of Nebraska, in towns like Ogallala and Scottsbluff," said Susan Poser, dean of the law school at the University of Nebraska. "We're trying to make students more aware of those opportunities," she said . . .

"Twenty years ago, Chadron had 10 lawyers; Alliance had a dozen," said Howard Olsen, a lawyer in Scottsbluff, Neb., and a former president of the Nebraska Bar Association. "Now, they each just have two or three."

Mr. Olsen said that clients in rural Nebraska who used to find a lawyer across the street may now drive "50, 60, sometimes 100 miles" to find one.

Per the United States census, Chadron, Nebraska had 2,313 households in 2010.  One lawyer for every one thousand households?  Sounds like career opportunities may be abundant for unemployed Emory grads and other law talking city slickers. Farm living is the life for me!

But wait. Per that same census, how many of those Chadron households could conceivably pay a lawyer some money for his or her services? A total of 323 of those households had an income of at least $75,000.

And how many lawyers are there in Chadron anyway?  According to the Nebraska bar association there are currently nine attorneys with active law licenses in good standing residing in Chadron.  It's true that two of these are government attorneys, and three of the others do not list themselves as engaged in the private practice of law involving members drawn from the public (does membership in that category create certain obligations in regard to reporting liability insurance status?), but that still leaves four attorneys engaged in the private practice of law, or about one for every 80 households who might possibly be able and willing to pay a lawyer's bill, assuming they had some need for legal services that couldn't be filled by ordering a document from Legal Zoom or the like.

It should give Dean Poser (a remarkable number of people in this business have names straight out of didactic 19th century novels) and Howard Olsen pause that three out of the seven licensed private attorneys residing in Chadron don't seem to be practicing law.  Here's the real problem: the vast majority of people in Chadron can no more afford a lawyer than they can found a hedge fund. The median household income in the town is $29,000; nearly a third of its residents got some sort of cash public assistance -- mostly food stamps -- last year.

Law school administrators are prone to talk about how the idea that there are too many lawyers in America can't be true, given that huge numbers of Americans who have a legitimate need for legal representation can't get such services.  Once again, people who talk this way just don't want to do the math.  What's the minimum revenue that a solo practitioner needs to collect in a year to have a viable business, even in a small town? $100,000?  Where is that money going to come from?  There are a few dozen families in Chadron who can afford to pay a lawyer.  Few if any will need a lawyer this year, and those few that might will almost certainly choose to patronize one of the four private lawyers in town with active practices.

Given all this, how much sense does it make to tell a law graduate to move halfway across the country, spend the time and money necessary to become eligible to practice law in another state, and then try to find a way to make a living in a small Nebraska town?  There are plenty of Nebraska and Creighton grads trying and failing to do this as it is.

The notion that the employment crisis for law school graduates is in any degree a product of the "fact" that graduates won't take "salaries starting in the low (!) to mid-five figures"  because they're holding out for $160,000 big firm jobs is just another rationalization for charging lots of people lots of money to enter a profession which simply doesn't have any jobs for them, whether they're looking for those imaginary jobs in Washington DC or Chadron NE.


  1. Cha-Ching!

    Paul makes another $600 today off the backs of future unemployed JDs!

    Thanks for the post!

  2. Cha-Ching! A law professor with too little to do and internet access trolls this cite trying to discredit Paul Campos - with the same post as he (it's a he) has posted all week, and been ignored on all week.

    Altogether lets say ahhhhhhh, isn't he such a cutey little bouncing professor

  3. Prof. Campos should start posting the IP addresses of these trolls, the way Nando does. The results would be very interesting.

  4. 7:48

    how much did you make today off of your class of future unemployed JDs at your TTT?

  5. @ 7:48 A.M.

    Keep fucking that chicken featherless, you craven law school shill.

  6. As a partner in a NLJ250 firm,

    - there is no way I'm giving money to my law school (indeed, I've called them on their employment stats)

    - almost every law school is a bad career choice

    - I told my children (who I hope are not idiots) not to go to law school and that I would not pay in any event

  7. Cha-Ching!

    7:48 makes an ad hominem attack without addressing the substance of the problem.

    Thanks for the re-assurance that you are a fool!

  8. Emigrate to Australia!

    Solicitors and barristers are on the list of professions receiving preferential immigration treatment because there are not enough attorneys working in rural and Aboriginal communities.

    Moving to Australia is about as practical as moving to Nowhere U.S.A. with the exception that there might actually be some need in Oz.

  9. Except we don't know Australian law?

  10. I'm from Australia - there are no jobs for lawyers in country australia either. Massive oversupply. The list you quote of 'shortages' have every job on it, its just an immigration scam run by the australian government.

    Man how I'd love to see the useless parasitical law faculties and their staff have to earn livings in the real world, instead of posting idiot anonymous comments on blogs.

  11. 8:06 should donate the money he would otherwise send to the school to Law School Transparency and then get his buddies to do the same.

  12. Here's a quote from the aricle:

    "Still, for the students who can shoulder the financial burden, there can be significant advantages. "The cost of living, the pace of living and the variety of practice, to name a few," said Marianne B. Culhane, dean of the law school at Creighton. "Plus, no long commutes.""

    For someone with a high amount of debt this is horrible advice. If you are paying $1,500 per month in law school debt it makes no sense to move somewhere where the expected incomes and costs of living are lower.

  13. I love it, when will these people realize that the old way of lying doesn't work anymore? Campos will expose and document your lies within 24 hours, so it's better to politely decline to comment. The deans are feeling the heat. I wonder if they really believe this is cyclical, if so their faith must be waning quickly.

  14. Campos is spot on today, as usual.

  15. I am a recent graduate of one of the schools featured in the WSJ article. As I desperately searched for legal work my 3L year I logged onto the school's Symplicity site nearly every day (sometimes twice a day). The Cupboards were nearly completely bare. I recall virtually no job listings for the rural areas. One of my good friends, who graduated with me, had solid grades, a likeable personality and previous professional experience is now working at Target. If there were legal jobs in Chadron, he would be the first to jump on it.

  16. If I may quote BL1Y on this subject, because his quote contains lots of wisdom:

    "They [law school shills, CSO] give this advice because it's a way of pinning failure on students.

    The problem isn't that the schools took more students than the market can bear, or that they provided them with such substandard skills that the market doesn't want them. Nope, the problem is that you won't pack up, abandon your entire life, and move off to a town that you'd never even heard of a week before to practice in an area you're utterly uninterested in, aka: Whatever Walks In This Week Area of Law."


  17. Having read every comment on this blog over the past few months, time to pop my cherry with a comment !

    Clearly the US is overlawyered by whatever measure you use. Look at this for a stark picture of how out of control lawyer numbers are :

    Perhaps what we're seeing here is that during a time of austerity in both public and private sector, many legal activities of the past are being seen as optional rather than necessary. In my company, legal spend is as closely scrutinised as any other spend - rather than take 10 days to agree a contract with a supplier, we now take 3 and it's probably good enough.

    This is possibly where the structural retrenchment is coming from. Companies agressively challenging legal spending, offshoring, outsourcing etc. And alongside this, the straitened public sector similarly hamstrung.

    Moving to Bumblef*ck, Missouri, as LP rightly says, isn't the solution to this - the USA needs fewer lawyers. This sucks for current and recently graduated students, but seems to be the case.

    I know LP's mantra has been "there aren't enough jobs" but I would contend it's as much that for whatever reason, the US has absorbed far more lawyers in the past than it really needs. An expanding economy hid this fact, but those times are over.

  18. Mr. Olsen may be correct that decades ago there were more lawyers in rural Nebraska. That, however, does not mean that there is a similar demand today. This is for at least two reasons. First, the population of rural Nebraska has been steadily declining for many, many decades. There are simply fewer people living in rural Nebraska today, for many reasons, including economies of scale accomplished in agriculture. Second, increased efficiency in the production of legal services requires fewer lawyers to do the same work.

    So yeah, maybe there were 10 attorneys in Chadron decades ago. That doesn't mean that there is demand for even four today.

  19. I think this posting by Campos addresses a fundamental issue – it is not that there are not enough law firms or enough legal jobs – there is a fundamental lack of demand for legal services. In Japan in the 80s and most recently the UK, there is a standard argument used to justify soaring property prices – but we are an island(s) and so many people want somewhere to live, supply and demand, prices must go up. To this I always point to the example of Bangladesh, possibly the most densely populated country in the world and ask – why does Dhaka not have the most expensive housing in the world then? Because Bengalis are poor! It is true that there are a lot of Bengalis looking for home and shelter – but they cannot pay more than a certain amount for that home. When you talk about the demand side of the supply and demand equation what you are referring to is the number and size of paychecks seeking a home. The same thing applies when it comes to law – a large part of the US population does not want to and does not have the money to pay for legal services. Even billionaires don’t want to have lawyers on permanent retainer and will bargain down rates.

    I will admit that a perverse aspect of the situation is the pressure on lawyers to bill – and the billable hours targets (2100-2300 official, higher unofficial) that BigLaw imposes, which in turn drives the associate churn since the billable rates of mid level and senior associates or junior partners do not reflect their higher productivity – making inefficient junior associates much more profitable. One would think that given the current employment levels the pressure to bill would have abated in BigLaw as more bodies were added – but equity partners mortgages have inflated to match their anticipated draws (not to mention school tuition) and so the decision goes – ”family in the Hamptons for the summer v. humane working hours” – and the Hamptons win until the day he (it’s usually a he) drops dead of a massive coronary walking on the beach during labor day weekend, after he went down to joint muffy and tuffy and the labradoodle.

  20. Those few attorneys working out there are probably sitting astride what appointed work there is to be had there, also. There is money from the state for things like appointed criminal defense and child custody where the state is trying to take children away from their parents, but in towns of a few hundred, how much of that work is there to go around?

    People who think that hanging a shingle just anywhere are forgetting that $1,500 a month in overhead just to repay student loans is a crippling limitation on their ability to compete with established attorneys. Eventually the federal government stops accepting forbearance requests.

  21. My gawd "he went down to joint muffy and tuffy and the labradoodle" - its the Sanaponack Butcher....

  22. I come from a small town, and the other factor that this logic ignores is that small towns tend to have a sort of xenophobia about outsiders, particularly outsiders who provide professional services. A solo practicioner is going to have a hard grabbing any business in a small town without any ties to the community.

  23. If you go off to rural Nebraska, you'll probably serve a region and represent farmers and people from towns other than the one where you're based. I have no idea what demand there is for lawyers there, but poor people need lawyers as much as anyone. The pay might be a lot lower than what you were hoping if they can't afford it, but don't immediately assume the opportunities aren't there.

  24. I would love to hear more input on the "value" of a legal education from the recent generation of employed and practicing lawyers. I imagine this is impossible because they're too busy fending for their lives in a cutthroat field. Instead I have to settle for Dean Jackass (who practiced for two years in the 80's before becoming a law professor and shooting through the ranks) telling me how getting a law degree is worth it because durr you wouldn't have to make long commutes, while anonymous law professor/law school apologist comes out from Dean Jackass's pocket and pathetically whimpers about Campos not producing legal scholarship and or garnishing his wages.

  25. Also consider that small town law firms may consciously avoid outsider attorneys. I applied for a few jobs in rural areas, and one firm rejected me specifically because I did not live in their town (an old classmate tried to vouch for me but the managing attorney at his firm told him no for that very reason).

  26. Every day there is a cycle of:

    1. Law school Deans, administrators and professors contriving some lie to induce people to enroll, "hey if you don't get biglaw you can always have a comfortable life in Nebraska."

    2. Followed by scamblogs attacking the lie.

    The problem is that the lie is on mainstream media and read by gullible college graduates. The scamblogs are not.

  27. Brilliant post. It's hard to believe that deans and administrators keep saying these things but...they do. I don't suppose these schools are planning to roll back tuition to the levels they charged when the solo practitioners of Ogallala graduated? It wouldn't matter since the jobs aren't there today at any price, but it would be the fair thing to do while pushing these jobs. Sheesh.

  28. The pay might be a lot lower than what you were hoping if they can't afford it, but don't immediately assume the opportunities aren't there.

    I am willing to pay you less than your expenses to perform legal services for me.

    Don't say the opportunity does not exist. You'd be stupid to take that opportunity. But it does technically exist.

  29. " If you go off to rural Nebraska, you'll probably serve a region and represent farmers and people from towns other than the one where you're based. I have no idea what demand there is for lawyers there, but poor people need lawyers as much as anyone. The pay might be a lot lower than what you were hoping if they can't afford it, but don't immediately assume the opportunities aren't there."

    This right here is some grade-A, 100% Columbian pure bullshit. Poor people need lawyers as much as anyone else, sure. I'll grant you that.

    BUT THEY CAN'T FUCKING AFFORD TO PAY THEM. When you're barely making your $500 in monthly rent, and a Big Mac is a once or twice a week indulgence, where in the FLYING FUCK are you going to come up with the cash necessary to pay a lawyer charging even the egregiously low rate of $100 an hour for even ten hours of work?

    You're either stone cold stupid or lying. Stop being either.

  30. MacK:

    "[I]t is not that there are not enough law firms or enough legal jobs – there is a fundamental lack of demand for legal services."

    No, it is that there are not enough legal jobs. It's likely also that there is a lack of demand for legal services combine with a completely broken legal-business model.

  31. MacK,
    Your second paragraph is incorrect. Look, at the end of the day there is a deal that has to be done with a certain value and reasonable legal fees are X% of that value. Do you think the clients don't understand that or do you think the partners don't understand that? If you take too long to do something and bill too much for it the partner is going to have to write down your time and guess what, the partner takes a financial hit for that. If you're too inefficient you'll quickly find yourself without any work and out the door.

    What drives associate churn is that there is a ton of bitch work (diligence, doc review, etc.) that takes time to do and there are minimal efficiency gains from using a midlevel associate whereas the billing rate goes up about $50 per hour per year of seniority. As you become more senior there are the same number of people competing for less work for which a higher hourly rate can be justified and that my friend is what drives the churn.

  32. To both 9:42's: When I say the opportunity might be there, I'm saying you might be able to earn a living that way, just making a lot less money than you were hoping for when you went to law school. You can rant and rave, but you don't really know for sure otherwise. People do work as lawyers in those areas, so some people can and do succeed that way.

    Also keep in mind that there is an oversupply of lawyers in this country. So it's not like you people all deserve high-paying jobs. You have to bring something to the table that justifies your salary. A JD from your bottom-of-the-barrel law school isn't enough.

  33. Having had a few relatives and friends practice in small rural towns - let me tell you what the reality is. In that town there is one or two big commercial families - they own the biggest local buyer/sellers of what the farmers need and everyone is in debt to them. They are pretty well the biggest consumer of legal services - which consist mostly of dunning the unfortunate locals for non-payment of consumer loans on TV's, trailers and farm machinery. Usually the locals cannot afford much of a lawyers services to respond. There is also the work for the county prosecuting the local petty offenders (and out of county speeders) which goes mostly to the sheriff's cousin - and from time to time there is a felony and the appointed public defence work goes to the sheriff's other cousin (who does it on the side and knows the defendant from suing him for missed payments on the TV/trailer/RV.) Did I mention the judge is also related to the sheriff/county manager/ county executive.

    There is no big donor funding pro-bono legal services because the only potential big donor is from the family that is busy suing the people who need the free legal services. Oh and there are tax lien cases that go to the sheriff or county executives other cousin - and then a few foreclosures where a BigTime law firm that bid to MageBank corp for all the work in the state comes down from the state capitol.

    The only way you can luck out is if the two wealthy families have a feud - or better still there is an internal family feud and all the cousins get conflicted out - but then they are probably going to hire BigTime from the state capitol. Oh well

  34. 10:07AM

    Not really. A tremendous amount of the scutwork that was/is done by junior associates really never needed to be done - it just was and is much more lucrative (if you can get a client to swallow the bill.) The scutwork grew because that was what first years could do - and it really took off in the 80s and 90s. One thing that has impacted the market is that people who were junior associates in the 80s and 90s are now General Counsels - and they have taken their experience of the bullshit quality of much of this work and the time wasting to that job when they look at bills.

    Seriously, I have seen bills that would make you swoon, for totally unjustifiable activity at top firms. When a big well funded client is naive the way in which associates pile into the case, and partners - and billing partners allow is unconscionable - I mean seriously disgraceful - I'm talking about bills for tens of millions when millions were more appropriate.

  35. Go West young man! Go West!

    Got a dream boy?
    Got a song?
    Paint your wagon
    and come along!

    Where am I going I don't know.
    When will I get there I ain't certain.
    All that I know is that I'm on my way!

  36. @MacK: If this is what people are complaining about not getting, it's hard to feel sorry for them. How can I feel sorry for someone who was hoping for a career fleecing the system, failed, and now is complaining he/she was "scammed" by some webpage containing placement statistics?

    It's unfortunate that these opportunities for being leeches on society might be drying up, but rather than venting your anger on the leeches you people tried so hard to become, why don't you get some useful job skills and then actually contribute to society. Or maybe even God forbid try to find a way of becoming a lawyer in an honest but lower-paying way.

  37. The suggestion to move into rural areas reminds me of the Grapes of Wrath....sad.

    I knew somebody who went to Nebraska law school, home of Space law. While she was a space cadet, she moved to CA after going to school there and is now unemployed. If the opportunities were so numerous, why would the graduates move away?

  38. I will have approximately $250,000 forgiven under IBR and Public Loan Service Forgiveness. One way or another, the law schools are going to get there just punishment. Programs like these in conjunction with future Republican administrations will all but assure that a cap is placed on the academic welfare masquerading as student loans.

  39. Scammers are on the ropes.

    Thirty years ago the lie was: Law is a versatile and intellectually stimulating career and financially lucrative.

    Fifteen years ago the lie was: Law is a challenging career path where driven people can do rewarding work and have a comfortable future. If you make biglaw, you can make big bucks.

    Four years ago the lie was that law school was a safe port in a storm. Many were not likely to make biglaw, but you could have a nice career as a respected professional in Nebraska.

    Now the law school lie is that you have to be in it to win it; that the unemployment data unfairly include those who never wanted to practice law and thus overstate the desperation; and that some people still get biglaw and for those that don't IBR will allow them to have an interesting career.

    The sales pitch has been reigned in. It's no longer models and bottles. Rather, it's maybe you'll get a date and perhaps you can afford food.

    When the mainstream media stopped publishing law school press releases, the conventional wisdom started to turn. We're 3 years from "dear lord, don't send Tyler to law school."

  40. You can rant and rave, but you don't really know for sure otherwise.

    And what do you "know," o wise one?

    Enough to advise someone to take this path? or just enough to raise comment on everyone's ignorance?

    You sound like Orin Kerr.

  41. 10:25:

    I don't think most people understand what they'll be doing on a daily basis as a junior associate "fleecing" the system when they apply to law school. Do you? I'm more likely to say that they're just as naive about how law schools market themselves as they are in their career ambitions. You can't superimpose our (justified and well-earned) cynicism on a 23 year-old.

  42. @10:25AM

    It's unfortunate that these opportunities for being leeches on society might be drying up, but rather than venting your anger on the leeches you people tried so hard to become, why don't you get some useful job skills and then actually contribute to society. Or maybe even God forbid try to find a way of becoming a lawyer in an honest but lower-paying way.

    I am a very gainfully employed international lawyers with a mid six figure income - and my clients pay my fees and are apparently happy with the results since they both come back and refer people to me. As far as I can tell you are a law professor at a second or their tier (or fourth) law school whose students are angry that you "leeched" from them 3 years of their lives and their financial independence. I have also written billing guidelines as a GC and in firms for other firms that are fair (I have never had anyone say they were not) but prevent the sort of abuses that are so prevalent in BigLaw and which junior associates feel they have to go along with because of their massive debts incurred to pay tuition to the tribe of leeches you succeeded in joining (or whatever the collective non is for leeching law professors.)

    That law school broadly worked for me does not prevent me from being appalled at what is happening to a profession I enjoy - drive by the crop of leeches that you posted on behalf of. It does not prevent me from feeling a tremendous anger at what has been done to so many young lives by the lies that law schools have peddled so as to keep leeches like you in a steady supply of blood - from these students and the taxpayer (and by the way I pay a vast amount in tax, but what I resent is that so much of it goes to leeches like you for screwing up these kid's lives.) So go sit in that office, with its expensive decor and wonder what you are going to do on your next research sabbatical - when you will be able to do even less work than usual.

    In the meantime FYVM

  43. @10:28--

    "Fifteen years ago the lie was: Law is a challenging career path where driven people can do rewarding work and have a comfortable future. If you make biglaw, you can make big bucks."

    You forgot to add-- "... and if not, there's always government or smaller law firms to fall back on."

    I recently received my "fifteen year" reunion letter. I'm still paying off my loans. I will make no donations to my alma mater until I've paid the loans off and found my "comfortable future."

  44. MacK - for someone who is so gainfully employed, you seem to have an absurd amount of time to post on this blog. I don't disagree with most of what you say, but boy, do you have an arrogant and irritating way of stating it.

  45. I think MacK is right. Small town America is fine to visit, but it has a good old boy network, and if you ain't one of them, or didn't grow up in that particular town you are an outsider and will learn all about small town passive aggression and about how the local politics etc is dominated by people that are all related by blood or marriage.

    I kiss the ground every time I vacation away from New York in general, and am almost in tears by the time I get on the Jersey Turnpike headed north for home.

  46. ^^Correction: I kiss the ground in NY when I get home.

  47. @MacK You claim you are a "very gainfully employed international lawyers (sic) with a mid six figure income".

    If this is even true, then my comment was directed at the students who are claiming they were scammed, not you.

    Then we have "As far as I can tell you are a law professor at a second or their (sic) tier (or fourth) law school whose students are angry..."

    You in fact have no idea who I am, very clearly. And even if I were The Enemy as you think, the fact remains that most of these "victims" aren't innocent. Their intentions in going to law school were to make large amounts of money doing things they knew might be questionable ethically. They tried to game our society, failed miserably, and now are trying to sue the law schools for not giving them the opportunity to pursue a lifetime of frivolous personal injury lawsuits or whatever?

    Gimme a break. This "law school scam" is just another frivolous personal injury lawsuit and you know it.

  48. @11:11 A.M.

    Put that poor chicken down, shill.

  49. "You in fact have no idea who I am, very clearly. And even if I were The Enemy as you think, the fact remains that most of these "victims" aren't innocent. Their intentions in going to law school were to make large amounts of money doing things they knew might be questionable ethically. They tried to game our society, failed miserably, and now are trying to sue the law schools for not giving them the opportunity to pursue a lifetime of frivolous personal injury lawsuits or whatever?"

    Fuck you and all your friends and family, 11:11. Fuck you.

  50. MacK
    I truly hope you do not continue this firefight! In another vein, I grew up in a small town (John Mellencamp's) and my father and many of my friends were small-town lawyers. Actually, when I went to law school that is what I wanted to be. Then, my father-in-law was indicted for mail fraud. The small-town turned on me and I had to leave. I had an opportunity on the West Coast and that is what I did.

    Small towns can be wonderful but they are very closed. Small law can be wonderful unless somebody screws up. But the opportunities for small law reality number in the hundreds, not the thousands.

  51. 11:11AM

    You are either a delusional law professor (collecting a fat pay check while withering on about public interest) or someone who is almost wilfully misinformed, or maybe a trust fund poseur who pats himself on the back for his public interest virtue while ignoring the fact that mama and papa paid for law school for you - who knows, but you sound like a real prize. First, I went to law school because I find the law and what I do immensely interesting - and I help all sorts of businesses to grow and they pay me well to do that with some pretty unusual skills. Moreover, I do take cases regularly for free - while you probably just pose.

    I disapprove of why many law students went to law school - which in a lot of cases comes down to their having studied in college subjects that made it relatively hard to get a good job immediately on graduation - so they went to law school. But they went to law school because they saw it as a way to enter a profession - maybe one they did not know a lot about, but a profession that they thought might give them some job security and a middle class lifestyle - this in you opinion makes them leeches - and you of course are a saint. As far as I am concerned they made a mistake - but they do not deserve to spend the rest of their lives being flagellated while a little creep like you cheers that punishment on.
    The problem I have with your sanctimonious posturing this is that every person who studies (unless they are doing something truly silly) does so to a large degree to acquire knowledge and skills that will allow them to sell their services for more money - whether they are a plumber learning to sue a new type of pipe, or a engineer or any other job. There is nothing inherently wrong about studying subject because you think it will lead to a good job - in fact there might better be said to be something wrong about studying a subject using tax-payer funded loans (or teaching it) when you did not think that it would allow you in any respect to contribute to society in some way. These kids were peddled a bill of goods - that if they went to law school they could be contributors and be rewarded for being contributors.

    Now you want to claim that these kids are guilty of wanting to be the sort of lawyers who rip off their clients - and to be blunt you are so full of shit. I have seen how BigLaw gets associates to work horrendous hours - how lawyers are driven to corner cutting and taking bullshit cases (and I fight that activity every day by the way - while you just pontificate about it.) The biggest factor driving the conduct at issue is student debt and over-competition in legal practice. Student debt means that associates feel they have to keep the job and stay silent about the overcharging, the excessive billing, the abuse - because that associate has a damoclene sword of debt hanging over his and her head. Ruthless competition leads lawyers to take on dubious clients, or having client do anything they can to avoid upsetting that client - because where will a similar client come from? Every one of these issues has gotten worse over the decades I have spend in the law - and the driving factor has been the massive over enrolment by law schools and the over production of lawyers, the hiking of tuition to unsustainable levels an the dot so many lawyers carry into their 40s.

  52. End IBR and the walls tumble down.

    IBR is the only thing supporting the whole damn corrupt scam. End it and half the law schools will close tomorrow. The invisible fist of the market will beat the stuffing out of the TTTs.

  53. 10:07,

    9:42 here, and y'all don't know me. I was a JD-MBA at a top five school. I cleared 200k last year running my own business and this year I have a shot at 300. My ranting and raving is not in any way related to my personal situation, and I'm not a victim of this scam. So don't try to paint me as a whiner who needs to get a job.

    But when you write "You can rant and rave, but you don't really know for sure otherwise. People do work as lawyers in those areas, so some people can and do succeed that way."

    Ok, I'll bite. GM and Ford do sell cars, so some people can and do succeed launching their own automobile manufacturers. Wait; those markets are totally penetrated and oversaturated, and there's no room whatsoever for new entrants.

    In short, you're a fucking idiot.

  54. Small University towns are particularly odd and perhaps contribute to the narrow mindset of many University academics.

    The term "Town and Gown" applies even in this day and age, and most belong to either one or the other, as in the old movie Breaking Away. There are the Cutters and the College people.

    Again, nice places to visit, but not as versatile as living in or near a large urban area.

  55. 9:42 here again. When MacK writes

    "That law school broadly worked for me does not prevent me from being appalled at what is happening to a profession I enjoy - drive by the crop of leeches that you posted on behalf of. It does not prevent me from feeling a tremendous anger at what has been done to so many young lives by the lies that law schools have peddled so as to keep leeches like you in a steady supply of blood - from these students and the taxpayer (and by the way I pay a vast amount in tax, but what I resent is that so much of it goes to leeches like you for screwing up these kid's lives.)"

    I'm basically 100% on board with the sole exception that I didn't enjoy law school, and frankly don't really like lawyers. That said, it enrages me to see people unjustly ripped off, even if they're not the kind of people with whom I want to have a beer. The fact that 10:07 is saying on the one erroneous hand "it's not a scam, you could move to Arkansas!" and "you deserved to get scammed" on the other erroneous hand... that's the kind of shit that makes me crazy in the head. 10:07, you're a shithead.

  56. A successful international lawyer making mid six figure income wouldn't be wasting his time commenting 25 times per day on this blog.

    If he is though, wow. That's just sad. I can understand the rest of the unemployed JDs, and even the other law faculty posting here. We have no real opportunity cost to having our fun here.

    To each his own, I guess, but I think if I was earning that kind of cabbage I'd be out enjoying the sunshine and not hovering in front of my computer screen responding to some of the jackasses on here!

  57. 12:12PM -

    But you don't know what time of day it is for me - or the downside that I am sitting round while my wife is in another city with an 8 hour time difference - or that today is quiet after a busy month - or wonder why I type fast and badly here? Or that a few cases that were on the stove are stayed this week - or that I am waiting for contract drafts back - and that I am getting on a plane soon to see said wife and have some quiet time - or that I am my own boss.

    There are downsides to what I do - a few years back I used my jet lag to write two law-books in about a month and a half - not big books, but not small either - it was better than sitting around in an an Asian city awake at 4am waiting for an office to open at 10am. Also, sunshine and me don't mix - at least not without SPF 100

  58. 10:07 here. I can't believe you're comparing setting up shop in a rural area to entering the auto industry. Not all industries are the same. You can't claim to know what would happen if you tried going that route. You people just accept defeat and come up with excuses to give up.

    As for MacK: You can talk all you want, but students were flocking towards BigLaw long before student debt became the issue it has become. Furthermore, often students decide well in advance to do the "I'll take out big loans then go to BigLaw", full-well knowing what they're getting into. No one thinks that when they are defending Goldman Sachs and the like they're going to be helping the poor and defenseless. Don't play innocent. Most of them would be out there with the wolves if they could.

    You claim that the employment data provided is deceptive. I've seen some of this data. The info from the lower-ranked schools looks awful. If they're doing any deceiving, they're not very good at it. I think you people just thought you'd be one of the top students at Joe Idiot School of Law (yeah, I know, you all went to top schools and make millions now), and then when you didn't, you cried foul. I cry BS.

  59. @12:20 P.M.

    I cry BFS--"Big Fucking Shill."

  60. Why does everyone that disagrees at all here have to be a shill?

    Part of the problem is that Campos is beating a dead horse.

    Why not save the time and just repost "There are not enough legal jobs to support the number of graduates. Tuition is too high. Employment numbers are not accurate representations of the real world. Student loan debt is crippling the current generation of law students."

    Nothing else matters, and the statistics and numbers have all been put out there already. People are numb to them. They do not mean anything anymore.


  61. MacK is an idiot, and obviously not a successful lawyer as he tries to pretend to be.

    I don't know what time it is for you, but you're on here EVERYDAY, ALL THE TIME.

    I think you were a mid-level associate recently let go and have soooo much pent-up rage.

    Oh well. Sucks.

  62. I have no issue with the facts as LawProf states them. I take them as true.

    Now, I also think that LawProf is wrong to profit from what he calls a scam.

    He is violating no criminal law, but neither are the law schools, as far as we know.

    It is a moral issue, however, and each of us is allowed to have an opinion on whether he is behaving morally. Ultimately, I don't think typing on this blog offsets knowingly profiting from what he calls a scam.

    Doesn't matter what I think though, it really matters what LawProf thinks. I'm pretty sure he also does not feel that he is doing enough to justify how he earns his income.

    He could earn a living another way. He chooses not to. Nothing illegal about it...and it does NOT take away from the facts he puts out here.

    But it is still a viable topic for discussion, and it doesn't take a law school shill to say that.

    I've actually met LawProf, and I think he would agree.

  63. @12:20 p.m.:

    When you say "lower-ranked schools," which ones do you mean?

    Georgetown University Law Center was ranked thirteenth in the last round of U.S. News rankings, and in 2009, they reported 97% employment at 9 months with a median salary for private sector attorneys of $160,000. Of course, this methodology did not account for more than a fifth of the class' salaries. It also assumed that the employment rate was equal to the number of graduates reporting full-time or part-time work, plus 25% of those whose status was unknown, divided by the total number of graduates less those known to be unemployed and not seeking.

    In 2011, the methodologies changed significantly. Employment is now broken out into full-time/JD-required work and all variations of employment status falling short of that. Significantly, there is another category of "school-funded employment," whereby the schools themselves pay graduates a nominal sum to count themselves as employed in a JD-required position. Only 62% of Georgetown graduates are in full-time, JD-required work. 13% are in school-funded positions. There is no salary data available as yet, but in 2010, the 60% of the class not reporting $160,000 didn't share their salary data with the school, assuming no surveys were misplaced. One wonders how far apart 2008's results were from 2011's, if only you used the new methodology to show the garbage strewn about GULC's 2008 employment landscape.

    Part of what allows bullshit like yours to go on is the pretense that the also-rans got no less than they deserved for attending shitty law schools (apparently those whose names don't rhyme with "Yarvard," "Stale," or "Hanford") when the Facts Were Out There. Actually, no; they really weren't. Or at least not in any form that conveyed the extreme caveats and wildly optimistic assumptions regarding salary or employment rates that were reported in U.S. News and duplicated on school admissions webpages.

    So because it's speculative to say how a student's financial life might have gone if he had known the particulars of his law school's past employment statistics, the damages element of a successful fraud claim is unlikely to met. What's not speculative is that a generation of law students was systematically deceived and the parties best able to understand the facts of the transaction made a few billion dollars a year in federal student aid.

    More succinctly: Fuck you.

  64. "When I say the opportunity might be there, I'm saying you might be able to earn a living that way, just making a lot less money than you were hoping for when you went to law school. You can rant and rave, but you don't really know for sure otherwise."

    There are tons of graduates, of all tiers of law school, who actually "KNOW FOR SURE OTHERWISE". All this crap advice about hanging your own shingle or going to flyover country to practice are, you know, things that people have actually tried and failed BECAUSE:

    Number of Lawyers >>>>> Amount of Legal Work

    And as for people making a lot less, well guess what people are willing to "make a lot less" at least in the beginning via free "internships" and $10k/year jobs and there are still like dozens or hundreds of applicants for these jobs will "make a lot less".

    In short you are an idiot!

  65. @ 12:55pm

    In the scheme of things, the moral "outrage" is going to be directed at those who have committed the greatest wrongdoings and less over those who has committed "lesser" wrongdoings.

    Thus all the deans and law profs who shill and lie (such as in the above post) about how law school is a great investment, versatile degree, plenty of jobs in flyover country, etc etc are going to be FIRST in my line of the most morally bankrupt.

    Even if you want to call Campos, DJM, Tamanaha "immoral" for not quitting, it is beyond silly to prioritize targeting these people who have actually helped people (and yes many people have said they have delayed or decided NOT to go to LS due to these profs) over the actual scammers who are continuing to perpetuate the scam.

  66. I actually practice in a smallish town (less than 75,000). Having been an avid reader of Prof. Campos blog, I can tell you: it's the debt (and the tuition!)!

    It would be entirely possible to come to my community, or one like it, and hang a shingle. You would feed yourself initially and, if you were good at your craft, you would eventually be able to provide for you and yours in a comfortable, if not lavish, way. Not everyone makes it, but most of the people around me that take their career seriously and work hard do ok.

    What will not work, though, is coming to a smallish community to hang a shingle when one has $100,000.00+ in debt. A license to do what I am proposing makes financial sense if it costs you three years and $20-30,000.00. It makes NO sense if it costs you three years and $150,000.00.

    The sad part is that there is a need for services, and there are business models to provide services to middle income folks that work for the client and the lawyer. What doesn't work, is the huge debt.

    Thus, the same people who preach at lawyers about the need for 'public service' are pricing it right out of the hands of those who need the help. The high end tuition of law schools has destroyed/is destroying the practice of law.

    (Disclaimer: The state school where I live charges $11,000/year for tuition, resident.)

  67. Mack check out for today

  68. In the decreasing order of degree of "moral transgression", I will rank the following in decreasing order:

    1. LS Admin and profs and other shills who tout that going to law school and taking out $100k+ debt is still a good gamble.

    2. LS Admin and profs who stay silent and quietly profit from the scam, neither condemning it nor shilling it.

    3. LS Admin and profs who continue to profit from the scam by keeping their LS jobs but speak out against the scam.

    4. Ex-LS Admin and Ex-profs who have quit their jobs, given all their worldly possessions to the victims of the scam and speak out against the scam.

    Before I target category (3), I'm going to target (1) and to a lesser extent (2), first. The troll that keeps asking to target (3) clearly wants people to forget about (1) and (2).

  69. It's weird, but even having graduated in 2009 and having applied in 2006 I feel very much out of touch in some of these conversations. The comment above made me check one of the state schools that charged $15K per year at the time I applied and now charges $27K. Purely as a business matter it blows my mind how their cost structure can be so out of control.

  70. @Morse Code for J

    12:20 here. I'm sorry to hear your life isn't going too well. I decided to go to Law School Transparency, and check out the most recent data for Georgetown. Sure enough, you were being misleading. 71% have full-time long-term jobs requiring or preferring a JD, and another 12 percent have full-time short-term jobs, mainly through the university. Only 5 percent are the "true losers", the unemployed and seeking. I haven't seen the older data which you mentioned, so I can't comment about it, though of course I'm highly suspicious.

    While it may be somewhat humiliating to be in the minority of graduates who are underemployed, the fact that your law school is even providing these short-term jobs is a kind gesture, which they are under no obligation to do. (I assume you are going to insist they only do it for the rankings.)

    Rather than hurl expletives at people on the internet, perhaps it's time for you to think outside the box, and come up with new and creative ways of dealing with your situation, rural Nebraska or otherwise. But I suppose if you were capable of successfully doing that sort of thing, you wouldn't be in your current situation.

  71. @ 1:56 P.M.

    You're on your fourth chicken today...Farmer Brown is going to start running low soon.

  72. @12:43

    Whatever helps you sleep at night

  73. @1:56 p.m.:

    First, I'm fine. I'm not practicing law but I'm doing well nonetheless, thanks entirely to contacts and a skill set I had from prior federal employment. From here on out, my JD will simply fill the gap on my promotion applications for highest education attained, and have the same point value as a service-connected disability or fluency in Spanish.

    Second, my alma mater was not nearly so distinguished as Georgetown, being a "public" institution somewhere inside the "T1" though well beneath the fabled "T14" or "T6." I merely brought it up because I too looked at its stats at Law School Transparency, and found it odd that an institution as storied as Georgetown would have so few graduates in long-term, full-time employment requiring a JD. As I stated previously, that's 62%. We can run in circles about the meaning to be had in "JD-preferred" (what are those jobs, exactly?) positions or working for subsistence wages for one's law school to cover the reporting period to NALP. To me, I believe that most of Georgetown's graduates would think that they had the grades and the LSATs they did to avoid the fate of people who went to Cooley or Texas Tech or Pepperdine or my alma mater inside the increasingly meaningless T1. I would think that they would largely find full-time, JD-required employment to be the only acceptable outcome for their investment of time and money, although I only know the one alumna (and her from 2003).

    If you want to see the older data, go back to the site and click on Georgetown's previous classes. As you mouse over the fields, there's a pop-up that explains the methodology used in 2008, which is presented differently than subsequent years at Georgetown.

    Of course, I'm not bashing Georgetown in particular. I merely point out that it's likely that even the "best" law schools were disclosing meaningful employment information only coincidentally, in a system designed to make all the Harvard-priced schools seem like they also had Harvard-level placement. Maybe we were all stupid to believe what we read in U.S. News and on admissions webpages, but the point is that we weren't misinformed all by ourselves.

  74. IBR is kind of a shrewd political maneuver because with IBR as the solution, rather than bankruptcy or loan forgiveness, the lenders(private or gov't) are thankful and able to continue to pile on interest, and the Universities are happy because they can still charge with impunity whatever they want for tuition and moreover recommend (Through their career offices I believe someone remarked) the IBR runaround to their un or underemployed grads.

    In other words, IBR throws a bone to the debtor and helps the debtor in the form of lower monthly payments, but it also harms the debtor because there is no moratorium on interest charges; and 20 years later the debtor is handed a tax bill on the discharged Stuident Loan likely to be 4 or 5 times the original principal.

    And Re: Bankruptcy- It has been said by a commenter that that there should be no bankruptcy allowed for the JD, since the JD is a rare and valuable product that will certainly redeem itself and justify its cost during the working life of the debtor (maybe not today, but certainly tomorrow, or in years to come)..........

    But that sentiment is very much in doubt.

  75. If Law prof leaves, we lose our best spokesperson. Lawprof's biggest advantage is being inside the system. As an insider he is taken seriously. Once he is outside the system, he will be painted as someone who couldn't make it as a professor. People already relentlessly attack his scholarship.

    If he leaves, no one will say he was acting according to his conscience. They will say he wasn't a good professor.

    You are just trying to get rid of the best advocate for the scam movement.

    It reminds me of the people who complained about Brian Tamahana writing his book. How terrible he was for writing it. People want to suppress the truth to keep their own jobs. Such people don't care about anyone else.

    You should give up this fight. You are already losing badly.

  76. @12:33

    While the fact of not enough jobs is a crucial one, people still don't believe it. We just saw a blog post on Forbes saying that law school is a golden ticket. We have to give out information on all aspects of the situation.

    sorry if that bores you. I would suggest you read the comment thread of that blog post and the post by Victoria Pynchon, but she deleted it! She was called out repeatedly and couldn't take it.

  77. LOL @ this:

    "I actually practice in a smallish town (less than 75,000)."

    50-75k a "smallish town?"

    You've got like 3 levels to drop before you hit "smallish town."

    In real "smallish towns," the work is basically low-level criminal, wills/trusts, basic real estate transactions, family law garbage, and some other random stuff. Small town practitioners often practice over multiple counties, and often accept alternative forms of payment. Plus, the cost of living is lower. I know one practitioner in a small town who charges 85/hour standard. And you're moving to areas that run on connections and bloodlines.

    It is not a good option for 99% of debt-saddled grads. LawProf is right; the opportunity is entirely illusory.

  78. To my fellow posters reacting to 7:48's comment: What do you expect from a hog but a grunt.

  79. So why not declare bankruptcy when the principal is 200K and pay taxes on that rather than pay income taxes on a discharged loan that has ballooned to 500K?

    And someone remarked that the interest is straight and not compounded under IBR. I think that is wrong.

  80. "If you go off to rural Nebraska, you'll probably serve a region and represent farmers and people from towns other than the one where you're based."

    What if every one of those towns also has a new lawyer show up, and they also cross over and do multiple towns?

    That would be the problem with the "there's only [x] lawyers in this town" line of reasoning. It's inconceivable for an academic to teach in more than one location, but - gasp - lawyers in the middle of the backcountry can and do practice all over the place.

    Here is an example from the town LawProf featured, Chadron, NE:

    They cover virtually every area of civil law and advertise that they service the northern panhandle of Nebraska, which is four windswept counties and about 25,000 people.

    If you move to any one of those counties and any one of the small towns, you're competeting against them, a firm with a century of roots in the area, and a firm that finds it necessary to serve an area that takes two hours to drive across.

    Stop and think about it.

  81. @9:16

    “poor people need lawyers as much as anyone”.

    Really? What for? Estate planning? The tax consequences of depreciating a 1992 Chevy Silverado over a 1995 Ford Ranger? To incorporate his or her aluminum can collecting business?

    They need consumer protection, you say. Yes, they need it, but not from private lawyers; not in the two states I know of: Tennessee or Georgia, and given the conservative, poor status of these two states, probably not anywhere else. That is the bailiwick of federally and state funded legal aide. And if it isn’t, how would they pay said eager, young lawyer just itching to make a name for herself in poverty law---with aluminum cans? What about when their landlord kicks them out of their manse? Ditto. Divorce? Most don’t get married anymore, but if they do, see foregoing comment about aluminum cans. DUI? Methamphetamine cooking? Public defender. Public defender conflicted out (criminal appointment cases)? Sure, the judge is going to forget about all the old lawyers who contribute to his/her campaign and, thanks to the lawyer surplus, depend on/fight over those appointments. What about personal injury, workers compensation, social security disability and bankruptcy? Now you’re in my bailiwick. Sure, there are plenty of opportunities there---if you have the minimal $120,000 dollar annual, advertising budget (and increasing each year thanks to the lawyer oversupply)---that’s what I have to spend, and I am merely a “prince in a small Etruscan village” and not “a slave in Rome”. Just imagine the number of bankers lining up to lend that kind of money to an inexperienced new lawyer with virtually no real marketable skills in trial, personal injury, bankruptcy or disability law.

    Bless your heart. ‘Tis so hard not to call you an idiot.

  82. So, law school, lawyers, and the law are for rich people?

  83. For everyone, including me:
    This stuff counts--


  84. 4:00
    In a word, yes!

  85. @10:07
    "People do work as lawyers in those areas".

    No. Not exactly. If there are lawyers “in those areas”, they are either working for the local government or not . . . working, much.

    Your comment and Professor Campos inspired me to look for some "lawyer deserts" in my own state, Tennessee, the Volunteer State and you know what I found? My state is aptly named if you move to my State's many lawyer deserts with the idea of working as a lawyer, because that's what you'll do a lot of---volunteer. Lets look at three.

    Not 60 miles from my present town of Chattanooga is the fair county of Polk, population 16,825, home of the 1996 Summer Olympic Whitewater Slalom, with a median household income of $29,643 and there is not one lawyer amongst any of them. Not one single lawyer believes a sufficient amount of work exists in that county to justify operating a law office in that county. Do you really have to wonder why? Next is the lawyer desert of Lake County, Tennessee, population 7,828 and situated on the mighty Mississippi. 42.5% of the people in this lawyer desert live in poverty, but with a nod to 10:07, three of those people are lawyers. One is the son of Tennessee’s longest serving Speaker of the House, so he’s probably doing okay. But in fairness, 10:07, since not every law student can have a daddy who is Speaker, we really shouldn’t count him should we? Especially, since he is also the county attorney. The other two are a husband and wife team who, thanks to the miracle of Google earth, appear to be practicing out of their house. I guess they’re just to be busy with all their many legal business opportunities to find a proper office. Finally, there is Hancock County, Tennessee, population 6,786, median household income of $23,150 dollars. Again, with a nod to 10:07, they have two attorneys present and accounted for. One works part-time as the general session judge, so when he retires, there will be an opening in this land of opportunity. The other one is the county attorney. 10:07, these counties are not unique to the hillbilly South. No doubt, you will find the same scenario from Washington to Florida, from Maine to California. There is a reason lawyer deserts exist. There is no living, large or small, to be made in these places.

    When talking about rural areas as an optional practice location, as the hillbillies say, "that dog won't hunt".

  86. Farmer Joe, I realize that, as much as we might feel like 'hicks' out here, my town is not a "small" town. That's why I included the population reference.

    There is no "biglaw" here. There are no mergers, no high finance of the kind Mack deals with. 95% of the lawyers in my town-hell, my state-practice what is called "shitlaw" on the scamblogs. I have many friends who practice in truly "small" towns (pop less than 4,000).

    In general, the law is a tough way to make a buck, unless you're going to work hard and put up with crap. That being said, I am proud of what I have done over the years, and I think I have been a generally positive influence on the community in which I live. I really like my job, too, even with the really crappy parts.

    My point (long buildup, I know) is that there is, perhaps, some honor or dignity in trying to help people, whether it's a will, a divorce, a conservatorship, or a small contract. But, given the current business model, newly minted lawyers simply cannot afford to even try to build that kind of a practice.

  87. Sorry, wrong profile. Gee Guy is "Gregg Smith" from above.

  88. From worthies such as Lawrence Lessig, Sara Stadler, Victoria Pynchon, and Jack Marshall has come various articulations of the following advice to desparate new grads: move to the cornfields, hang up a shingle, and live a fulfilling life representing "real people" (Lessig) on their small potatoes legal problems in exchange for token fees and homemade apple pie.

    I personally believe--though with less than 100 percent certaintly-- that there is an underserved population of working poor who do not qualify for legal aid, but who would benefit from low-cost legal representation from fledgling lawyers--such as the million or so Americans facing foreclosure.

    However, in order to match this underserved population of potential clients with fledgling lawyers, there has to be a system in place to make it viable. It would require: (1) law schools giving overwhelming priority to clinical instruction; (2) a serious effort by law schools to partner with the local bar so as to provide new grads with mentors and local contacts; and (3) a massive reduction in law school tuition, plus loan forgiveness and government grants to lawyers providing this representation and this mentoring.


  89. The answer is obvious:

    The law school shills will always have a defense to the claims of lawyer over-production and unemployment. This week's excuse centers around the idea that many of us need to move in the middle of fucking nowhere in order to get a job. It does not take much of an analysis to see that this suggestion is nothing more than a lie filled with inaccuracies and misstatements.

    Rather than having this discussion amongst ourselves, has anyone thought that maybe we should email or call Poser and present this article to her? I called earlier today and spoke to her secretary, called her out on her BS in much the same way I blasted Pynchon for her BS last week.

    Has anyone considered the thought that we should band together and fight the system as a group....starting with predatory student loans? I know lawyers are pussies in general (I am guilty of this as well) when it comes time to stand up but maybe there is strength in numbers?

    Just a thought.

  90. To 4:33: I agree the lie from this is that rural areas are less saturated than urban areas. They may have fewer lawyers per capita but there are far fewer corporations and businesses needing lawyers and far fewer clients that can afford to pay you. I would be interested to hear what Poser's secretary had to say. If only you could have gotten Poser herself on the line.

    The law schools are desperate to keep the lemmings coming through the door. This is simply one of many tactics being used to accomplish this goal.

  91. @10:25
    I hope I irritate you with this next comment at least as much as MacK irritates 11:01 because you sure irritated me with your comment.

    I too am a gainfully employed lawyer. However, unlike MacK, my personal injury practice (in which I primarily represent working and poor people) only brings in a low six figure income. Although I have a feeling that you may be the type to believe personal injury plaintiffs are frauds and their lawyers are shysters who are costing America jobs, just like Fox News says, I have never “fleeced” a client or the “system”. Furthermore, I have met few, if any young lawyers or law students who went to law school to “fleece” a client. Instead, I generally find law students and young lawyers naïve and idealistic rather than the cynics you believe them to be. They want to do the best they can for their clients---and to say differently, with no evidence to speak of, is just wrong.
    I, like MacK, despite being gainfully employed by my own practice, became involved in the law school scam movement because anyone who wants just a taste of justice cannot help but be outraged at the mind boggling numbers of the many young, bright lives the ABA, law school deans and their sycophant professors have ground up under their boot heels as they strive toward ever higher paychecks, ever few work hours and ever larger retirement packages. In the process of feeding many of our nation’s best and brightest and unfortunately, naïve and hopeful young people into the maw of the student loan machine, the resulting exploding number of lawyers, unabsorbable by the legal market, has degraded a profession I love and once looked upon as noble.

    I hope my humble and limited success helps give lie to the people such as yourself who claim the law school scam movement is populated by only bitter failures. It’s not.

  92. RE: Student Loans

  93. @4:03-- Great! People said that back at the turn of the last century when law schools began to proliferate, and people of all classes started to sue, and be in organizations that used the services of lawyers. People did not listen. More for people at the top!

  94. Alright, game's up. This is 9:16 / 10:07 / 12:20 / 1:56.

    I have a confession to make to all of you. I'm not a law professor. I'm not a lawyer. I've never been to law school, studied for the LSAT, or know anything about the law beyond what I see on Judge Judy. All I know about this law school scam is what I've been reading on the blogs recently. Today was kind of a slow day at work so I decided to amuse myself to troll y'all. Thanks for the entertainment. Yeah, I know, I'm a bad person, and I'll even apologize for annoying you. But hey, it was fun ;)

    Certainly I have no idea if there are any job opportunities for you in fucking rural Nebraska, but personally if it got to the point I was considering that I'd go off to Costa Rica or fake my own death or something.

    It does suck though that you have to get all this crushing debt to even get a shot at being a lawyer nowadays. It's not just law by the way, all over they're raising tuition and there are several careers like that where trying to enter them has become a form of Russian roulette. Law is just the most well-known one.

    Alright, have a good evening, ye disgruntled lawyers... and good luck with the lawsuits if any of you are part of them. I'd get a good laugh if any of them succeeded and people got their tuition money back.

  95. Freudian Slip O' The Day: (11:49) "...every person who studies ...does so to a large degree to acquire knowledge and skills that will allow them to sell their services for more money - whether they are a plumber learning to sue a new type of pipe, or a engineer or any other job."

    LOL, thought this was a funny portion of the comment.

    Not to take away from the valid points made in the rest of the comment, though.

    But funny naetheless.

  96. Oh, yeah, I did 10:25 too along with the other 4 times I mentioned.

  97. @ 5:09pm

    Most of us know and suspect they you were a troll. But unfortunately, real people such as Dean Posner of UofNE LS quote in the blog post are making these very arguments you were making.

    In a sense it is useful because you served as a stand-in for people like Posner and played the role well.

  98. Is there any way at all to limit MacK to ten comments per post?

    His incessant blather got old months ago.

    What a gasbag.

  99. Earlier above was an argument about "JD Preferred" jobs from someone who thinks anyone complaining about higher ed scams is either a whiner or said whiner's co-dependent accomplice.

    For the few people who appear to be confused about this, "JD Preferred" job means "JD IS OPTIONAL", which means you could also have gotten that job without having gone $150K into LS debt.

    In other words, "JD Preferred" just don't count any more than those "business and industry" jobs for which one also didn't need to go $150K into debt.

  100. i hate when a miserable, good-for-nothing, dorito-munching troll does what trolls do. but it's even worse when a miserable, good-for-nothing, dorito-munching troll comes out as such and acts all meta and hip about doing something that is simply puerile and moronic. guess what, dummy. you wouldn't purposely ruin a legitimate conversation "IRL," because that would make it clear to everyone that you're a jackass. why would being a jackass on the internet be something to come out and "lol" about? you are the worst sort of person.

  101. If you look at the human tragedies that this blog describes an your response is "hey I should troll these people for shits & giggles" then fuck, man. I think there is no other conclusion I can draw than "holy shit are you a terrible person."

  102. 36 Billion dollars of outstanding student loans owed by people over age 60.

  103. Housing Slump tied to the rise in Student Loan Debt.

  104. God knows how many times I have heard FOX news refer to Obama and the Dems as being Socialistic.

    And not that I am a socialist, but here is a view on student loan debt from the "Freedon Socialist Party":

  105. From this USA today article:

    "Starting three years ago, struggling debtors could find help through the Income-Based Repayment plan, which limits payments and forgives some debt after a certain number of years.

    But Reynolds said forgiveness in this case comes with a penalty.

    "You take a big credit hit," he said, adding that people who avail themselves of the option "are unable to buy houses and things like that."

  106. Richard Vetter Says:

    "The Federal Government should get out of the student loan business"

  107. Bankruptcy Attorney Phil Martino calls the current student debt load a "horrible problem that is going to get worse"

  108. The Scary side of Student Loans and Marriage:

  109. Invest in Student Loan Debt Bonds Now and make money!

  110. "The Obama administration is currently trying to make it easier on consumers to manage student debt, capping repayments for federal Stafford loans at 10 instead of 15 percent of disposable income for those making on time payments," said Ken Lin, CEO of "While this can help consumers manage debt, this means that the average student loan debt will likely increase as students take more time to pay back loans."

  111. @8:15 and 11:32. I'm not the worst sort of person. Jerry Sandusky is far worse than me. And I'd wager that many of the law profs who write law review "research" articles while sneering at the world and collecting their fat paychecks are far worse people than me.

    Besides, a little trolling is good for you.. after all this wallowing in self-pity, a little trolling adds spice to the discussion. Gets you out of your depressed stupor and motivates you!

  112. 7:29:

    Get a life. If you are trolling a blog trying to get a reaction out of people for kicks, you have bigger issues than any of us. Our problems pale in comparison to some asshole who has nothing better to do than to mess with people who are dealing with this problem. You must be a joy to know in the real world.

    There is special spot in hell for ya.

  113. 7:29:

    No. You were just acting like an asshole, and how you want us to pat you on the back for it. You are a fucking douchebag, and no rationalization on your part will change it. This is an honest piece of advice: do not go through the world thinking that you provide precisely the kind of grating antagonism that the world needs; you do not.

  114. 8:38, my second paragraph there was more trolling. I'm fully aware that I provide no useful service whatsoever to you people. But at least I admitted it and stopped.

    Some actual useful advice for y'all: There are many fakes and trolls out there who will come back over and over to fill whatever psychological need trolling serves. I'd suggest trying to be more aware and not swallowing the bait as easily as you did, it really just encourages the trolls.

  115. Man, you're right. It was our own fault that you decided to act like a dickhead for a while. Stop us before we kill again!

  116. I actually practiced in one of those small towns for the past 20 years. The lawyers who are successful in those towns go to work for, or take over the practice of, a parent who is also a lawyer in that town.

    A few lucky outsiders manage to become judges (county or municipal) which brings in a steady source of income. No one right out of law school is going to become a judge, even in municipal court.

    No one goes to work for a law firm. Most of the law firms in small towns are either sole practitioners or two attorney outfits. If you move to a community like that, you are going to be hanging out your own shingle.

    Most of the people who can afford an attorney go to a big city, like Denver or Omaha. Even a lot of the local governments will hire big city firms to represent their communities. Almost all of the banks and larger businesses do the same.

    You can expect to pay $500 to $1000 per month in advertising expenses. You will not have any clients at all until you get an ad in the yellow pages. All of the real advertising is though word of mouth.

    Most of the legal work consists of taking court appointed cases or divorces. Poor people pick up the DIY divorce kit available at the courthouse and fill out the forms themselves. An attorney can expect to make under $20,000 a year doing this.

    The prosecutors' offices in these areas tend to be revolving doors, with the typical tenure being around six months. They don't pay particularly well, either.


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