Saturday, December 15, 2012

Picture this

Thanks to Law School Transparency and other transparency advocates, we now have significant information about entry-level JD jobs and salaries. LST has also led the way in developing graphics and scorecards for summarizing this information. The average human brain has a tough time with numbers; we think more easily in pictures and stories. So graphics are important to help people understand the distribution of jobs and salaries.

Here's another approach I've developed for illustrating employment outcomes. You can do this with any word processor--or even using just paper and pencil. First construct a table like this one, with salary ranges running down the side and job categories across the top:

To fit this example into a blog entry, I combined all law firms with 11 or more lawyers into a single column. If you try this at home, you'll probably want separate columns for firms of different sizes (e.g., 11-25, 26-50). You can subdivide other categories as well: "Government" could become "State/Local Government" and "Federal Government." Some people like to divide "Non Profit" into "Public Interest" and "Academia." If a school has a lot of JD Advantage jobs in a particular category (like Business), you could create separate columns for "Business/JD Advantage" and "Business/Bar Admission Required." Experiment with different columns to see the pictures that emerge.

(Nerd note: "NA" in my first column means "not available." Following the lead of US News, I combined "unknown" graduates ("NA") with unemployed ones.)

Once you've set up a table, gather information about recent graduates from a school that interests you. This technique works best for law school faculty and staff, who have access to the most granular data about their own graduates, but I show below how you can approximate tables from public information about a school. Data in hand, put an asterisk in the appropriate box for each graduate.

Here is a table I approximated for Stanford's class of 2011. I picked Stanford as my first example because the school does an excellent job of collecting and publishing employment data. My approximation of outcomes thus should be fairly accurate:

Estimated Jobs/Salaries for the Stanford Class of 2011
(Nine Months After Graduation)

Why is this an approximation rather than a table with the same level of accuracy that someone inside Stanford could generate? Even though Stanford publishes extensive job and salary information on the web (which I used), it doesn't use the same salary ranges I've depicted here. I can tell from Stanford's published data, for example, that at least 77 members of the Class of 2011 had starting salaries of $160,000 or more. But there could have been more graduates above that line--perhaps as many as 100. In the interest of preserving Stanford's modesty, I opted for the low estimate of 77 graduates in the highest earning category. That may be low, but I don't think anyone underestimates Stanford's placement power. (If Stanford's administration does want to brag a bit more, with their full numbers, here's a much less modest approach pioneered by the University of Chicago.)

I didn't have any information about the salaries earned by Stanford graduates in very small firms or business; from the public data, I knew only that there were 2 grads in the first category and 8 in the second. How did I place my dots for those grads? I estimated their salaries using national data. Nationally, the 75th percentile for new lawyers in firms of 2-10 lawyers is $60,000, and the 95th percentile is $85,000. I figured Stanford's grads would fall near the top of the range, so I spotted one asterisk in the $70,000's and one in the $80,000's. Did I get those salaries exactly right? Almost certainly not. But social scientists estimate missing data all the time; I say a bit more about that below.

I used similar estimation techniques for other missing data. When Stanford lacked information about a few graduates in a job category, I used the median salary reported by other Stanford grads in that category. When I lacked any Stanford-specific information, I used national data biased toward the high end.

So the above table isn't an exact rendition of Stanford's outcomes, but it's a good approximation of outcomes for graduates of a very top law school like Stanford. I like this format because the reader can quickly grasp the overall story about this school's graduates: by far the largest cluster take jobs paying $160,000 or more at law firms; the next biggest cluster pursue judicial clerkships (and we can readily see the pay level for that work); some work for nonprofits, at salaries that show significant diversity but cluster below $50,000; none are working part-time during the year after graduation; and only three are unemployed.

The graduates of most schools, of course, face a very different pattern of outcomes. How does the table work for a different type of school--say one like the University of California at Davis? The dean of that school has had some trouble remembering his graduates' employment outcomes; here's a table approximation to help with that:

Estimated Jobs/Salaries for the UC-Davis Class of 2011
(Nine Months After Graduation)

As you can see, this is a very different picture than the one for a school like Stanford. The single biggest clump of graduates is in the part-time category. Nine months after graduation, forty-four of Davis's graduates held only part-time jobs. I've rather generously estimated half of those jobs as paying $10,000-19,999 and another half as paying $20,000-29,999. (Reality check on part-time work: At $15/hour for 20 hours/week, a graduate would earn only $15,600 over a full 52 weeks--if the job lasted that long. Even at $25/hour, 20 hours/week for a full year grosses only $26,000.)

Of the full-time employed Davis graduates, 26 are working either solo or in firms of 2-10 lawyers. Davis reported salaries for 13 of those graduates, and I estimated the missing salaries using a technique like the one I described above for Stanford: depending on the number of missing salaries in a category, I used Davis's median or 25th percentile salary for the missing values in that category. Why did I vary this? If a lot of salaries are unreported, there's good reason to think that the reported salaries skew high; the 25th percentile may offer a better estimate for missing values under those circumstances. (Note, though, that for most job categories the 25th percentile and median salaries are very close; this choice doesn't make a lot of difference in the end.)

At the other end of the spectrum, Davis's published data (buttressed by a few estimates) show that about 26 graduates are earning $100,000 or more, mostly while working in law firms. One reason I like the dots-in-the-box approach is that I think it helps put those high salaries in perspective; the table underscores how many other students you'll have to beat out for one of the top jobs. It's one thing to tell prospective students, "just ten percent of our graduates earn more than $110,000." As we know, most 0Ls will simply imagine themselves in the top ten percent. It's a little more daunting to see graphically all of the other classmates you'll have to leapfrog for those high-paying positions.

What about a lower-ranked school and/or one that doesn't publish any salary information: Can the table graphic help us there? Barry Law School's director of admissions has also had some trouble with employment data, and the school discloses no salary data, so let's see what we can surmise about Barry. We do know that 79 members of the Class of 2011 (more than one-third of the total) were unemployed or status unknown, so they're easy to plug into the table. We also know that another 16 were working part-time; I gave them the same generous salary distribution I allowed to Davis. For the rest, I estimated salaries between the 5th and 25th percentiles nationally for that job category; if the salaries are higher, that seems to be Barry's burden to disclose. At best I think Barry's table looks like this:

Estimated Jobs/Salaries for the Barry Class of 2011
(Nine Months After Graduation)

What story does this picture tell us? If you want to be unemployed, work part-time, or have a full-time job paying less than $50,000, Barry is your school! For full-time jobs paying $50,000 or more, you're going to have to finish ahead of a lot of other classmates. Those jobs, in my best case approximation, exist for only 10.5% of the class--and they're very unlikely to top $100,000.

Three schools, three stories. What's the story at your school? Why not get the data and graph it? 


  1. "If you want to be unemployed, work part-time, or have a full-time job paying less than $50,000, Barry is your school!"

    1. You know, almost every school fits this category. It would be better to point out the few that don't.

      I think there are really only two solid choices for that category _ Yale and Stanford. All of the others will have people unemployed and in debt for their foreseeable future

    2. The credited response is "First!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

      Please keep this in mind with your future posts.

  2. You really ought to make a chart like this for experienced grads. It would paint a picture that any 0L would want to know about before they went to law school.

    Could use publicly available info if the law school assented to use of its alumni directories.

  3. Isn't IBR, ICR, and PAYE basically forms of Chapter 13 bankruptcy with longer periods of repayment coupled with a more lenient repayment plan?

    1. There are a number of fundamental differences between the two. Among them, in a chapter 13 you must show that the creditors would receive more under a chapter 13 than a chapter 7. If you can't, you must choose a chapter 7 which includes selling all your assets. With IBR/ICR/PAYE, your assets have no effect on your ability to enroll (i.e., you don't have to sell your car or your house). Regarding payment terms, IBR/ICR/PAYE is much more lenient, particularly in that they limit monthly loan repayments to 10% of disposable income. In contrast, Chapter 13 pretty much just allows a subsistence lifestyle, with the rest going to your creditors. Chapter 13 does have one advantage though, your debts will be discharged once you complete the plan in three to five years. IBR/PAYE makes you wait 20 years. For some folks, that would make a Ch. 13 attractive. Finally, a Chapter 13 will stay in your credit report for 10 years and makes it very difficult to obtain even a car loan, let alone a mortgage (not to mention you may be disbarred for bankruptcy). IBR/PAYE does not negatively affect your credit score (although the amount of your loans will). Hope this helps.

  4. "Business" is a dangerous category. I wouldn't put it past Barry, or even Davis or Stanford, to count under the heading of "Business" everyone who works in an unskilled, dead-end job at Wal-Fart or a doughnut shop.

    Some of the judicial clerkships—the kind that many of the students at Stanford are getting—will lead to better things. But most people who are unemployed or who are working part time (probably doing document review or even less-skilled work) are essentially out of the legal profession for good.

    One suggested improvement to this graph: Draw a red line showing how much one would have to make before taxes to cover the payments on an average student's debt so as to pay that debt off in ten years. (Assume some modest but reasonable level of living expenses.) That would show quite starkly that only a handful of people coming out of Barry are not under water.

  5. Once again the great UC Davis is exposed for what it is; a lousy school with weak outcomes for its graduates. How about another tuition hike?

    1. Why not? Tuition there already exceeds Yale's.

      This graph shows why counting the so-called top fifty as "Tier 1" is absurd. At best a dozen or so of the jobs in firms of 11 or more, a similar number of positions in government, and a couple of the clerkships are decent outcomes. In a class of 200 or so, that's a disaster.

      Davis is at the top of the fourth tier.

  6. Everyone knows the truth. They don't care. A three year taxpayer funded vacation is a win even if you don't get a job.

    1. Law school isn't a vacation for anyone.

    2. It is for many people in my law school. Christ, a lot of them go flitting off to Japan or the Cayman Islands in the middle of the semester.

    3. Even if this were true, don't you think taxpayers would like to act on this? I'm not sure many people know that law school tuition is as heavily taxpayer-subsidised as it is, or how much law school costs in tuition at most schools.

      This would be another good reason to keep tuition as low as possible.

  7. It is unfair to include a chart for Barry in this post. Anyone who would seriously consider attending Barry has such poor cognitive functioning and life skills that success in any professional field is probably impossible.

    Someone thinking of attending Davis because Davis is the best school that mailed an acceptance letter might do well to abandon any thoughts of practicing law and pursue some other career. For the people who are seriously thinking about Barry, if Barry doesn't steal their money someone else will.

    Barry and Cooley and NYLS are irrelevant. You should focus on dissuading people from attending schools like Ohio State. You might actually put someone on a better path.

    1. I have very little sympathy for people stupid enough to attend Barry & Cie. I do think that those so-called schools should be shut down somehow—withdrawal of accreditation would do the trick, as would denial of access to federally guaranteed student loans. But my heart just can't bleed for anyone who incurs the average debt of $140k in order to attend a dump at which the median LSAT score is in the bottom third and for which even the average salary of the 39% of students that (allegedly) find a full-time job in law is only $45k.

      A Vanderbilt or a UCLA may possibly be worth attending. Already a Minnesota or a Washington University in St Louis is a very questionable proposition. Ohio State? Forget it.

    2. Why is Ohio State worse than somewhere like WashU? It's certainly cheaper if you're in-state.

    3. Sorry, I meant George Washington University, not Washington University in St Louis (which is indeed a toilet à la Ohio State).

      The many Washingtons (George Washington U, Washington U of St Louis, U of Washington, Washington & Lee) are hard to keep straight. At least two of them should change their names. Or, better yet, go out of business.

    4. the funny thing is that they are all closely ranked together, which probably led to students misunderstanding which LS offers what.

    5. What is the point of making these graphs again?

    6. @2:02 AM

      Because making graphs is fun.

    7. Don't we already know how poor employment stats are from every school?

  8. Law prof keep an eye on this

    1. What a bunch of hell-begotten frauds! Even NYU is touting this crap.

      The comparison to Cooley's self-serving "rankings" is apt. For those that don't know, Cooley publishes annual "rankings" that recently placed it second, just after Harvard. Most of the factors are just proxies for size (one or two actually relevant factors are thrown in for a veneer of respectability), which is just about the only area in which Cooley, with its multiple campuses, comes out on top.

      With a deliberately stupid selection of criteria, one can produce any desired "ranking". Yale will end up at the very bottom if the law schools are ranked in alphabetical order.

      This Seto shitheel knows that he's misleading people, yet he goes on doing so anyway.

    2. To continue, how is it that these fuckers are taken seriously when they purport to teach people to Think Like a Lawyer™? The only "thinking" illustrated here is conscious misrepresentation.

  9. I understand why solo jobs are counted as unemployed, but why 2-10 firm jobs?

    A 19.5% of Alabama's class was employed in firm jobs 2-10. Might this be more a product of the smaller market there instead of not being real jobs?

    1. The 2-10 category is stupid in general.

      A 2/3-attorney firm is likely unstable. One partner gets his feelings hurt, and everyone is suddenly a solo attorney. They're as stable as 3-person marriages in a profession where people leave at the first clear exit. In most cases, one client takes its business elsewhere and it's like getting hit by a tornado.

      A 9-attorney firm with 3/4 partners likely has a stable revenue base, and many of them are established in niche areas where they are a known commodity. IP boutiques, corporate bankruptcy firms, established PI or family law places that pay decently - a lot of them have 8-10 attorneys. Completely different ballgame than landing at a 3-person firm.

    2. It would be better if NALP had a 2-5 attorney firm category. As you say, there's a big economic difference between the typical three-person and ten person firm.

    3. I agree that there should be separate categories for, say, 2–4 and 5–15. The problem is that the data use only 2–10. Graduates from the toilets will cluster at the very bottom of that range.

    4. Even for folks who start life with an unstable 2-3 attorney firm, they're learning the ropes, getting a paycheck, and having the chance to grow a firm. The firm I worked at was started by two mid-level associates at a medium sized law firm. They grew it to a twenty attorney firm and became filthy rich.

    5. ^^^^^ Maybe, maybe not. Certainly you can find examples of success stories such as the one you're familiar with.

      But take any Florida school as an example for doing research into this. Florida's bar website is very useful because you can search by individual schools and year of graduation.

      When you go through a particular school's graduating class, you can see that many of the reported cases of employment at a 2-3 person firm are actually 2-3 newgrads huddled together for warmth in their newly-formed "firm".

      In this regard, a "firm" with 2-3 newgrads is essentially the same as a solo (which is to say, "unemployed" for the most part).

      Too bad most other states don't have bar `sites with this sort of search capacity. While it would take a while to do so, a person could build up a great picture of the breakdown in "real" 2-10 member firm employment and glorified solohood.

  10. These numbers for Stanford overstate the actual longer-term employment results.

    All of the 250 largest law firms have up or out policies and retain very few of the lawyers who start at the law firm. It is hard for lawyers to get and keep $160,000 jobs because the legal profession is not growing at a fast enough pace to employ on a long-term basis most or all the lawyers who are subject to up or out policies. There is a growing pool of solos in each practice area who were forced out of Biglaw and cannot make a living.

    These so called $160,000 top 250 law firm jobs are simply not open to lawyers who are in the last third of their careees but do not have a book of business.

    The up or out policies make older non-partner lawyers without a book of business the new minorities - like blacks or Jews were in the past. These older lawyers are untouchables for the top law firms. They will not be hired, notwithstanding a top law degree from Stanford or another similar school. Their resumes will be thrown in the wastebasket.

    For a lot of people in the last third of their careers, a law degree from even one of the top schools like Stanford has paved the road to unemployment and underemployment. These top law firms do not hire older lawyers from top schools without that book of business.

    You cannot get the book of business in a solo practice. You cannot charge the rates that you would need to charge to get into a big firm and actually get clients as a solo. People needing lawyers who go to a solo will expect to pay heavily discounted rates. If a top law firm starts first year associates at $300 an hour, a solo will be lucky to get $100 an hour.

    The system only works here for the few lawyers from the top law schools or lesser law schools who make partner or magically land in some top job in a business or non-profit. Most otherlawyers are scraping to get by at 55 or later, Stanford Law degree or not.

  11. Just to be clear, even if you can get $100 an hour as a solo after BigLaw, you may only be able to get 50 or 100 hours of paying legal work a year. The rest of the time a solo spends seeking out clients is going to be unpaid. All that time the solo needs to pay for legal research services, malpractice, virtual office and going to functions where the solo may meet clients but in fact involve an outlay of a few thousand dollars each. There is also CLE, which is very expensive if you do it in your practice area.

    Good luck making a living in solo practice after Biglaw. Your practice area will be saturated with other former BigLaw lawyers, most of whom are not making a living.

    1. This is exactly why I'll scream the next time anyone suggests that I become a solo practitioner. That's the fast road to penury. Operating expenses would quickly consume what's left of my savings. I'd sooner starve to death than pretend to be a solo practitioner.

    2. More likely is that your practice area is saturated with smaller fish who have been running on the legal street their whole professional lives. That Stanford law degree will NOT help you compete with the San Francisco grad who has set up a successful practice and has a broad client/referral base.

      People simply don't - and can't - understand how much of being a lawyer is actually sales networking until they've realized they're horrible at it, and that's why they'll never last in private practice.

    3. What I do is more concentrated in BigLaw. But increasingly, there are solos and small firm lawyers who were formerly at BigLaw setting up shop
      after they were forced out of BigLaw.

      For a few years, the solos/small firm lawyers could survive on what they brought in and some BigLaw referrals due to conflicts or the job being too small to bill at BigLaw rates. Now there are so many solos/small firm lawyers in the area that it is going to be very hard to get significant BigLaw referrals for any one lawyer.

      Also the ability of a solo to survive in the sphere of representing businesses depends on the business hiring different lawyers for different services. It is much easier for businesses to do one stop shopping. There are some types of practices where businesses are likely to buy a la carte and some not, depends on the practice area.

  12. This whole system of banking on 250 lawyer firms for lawyer jobs is built on a house of cards. It is collapsing to an increasing degree for the lawyers who are forced out of BigLaw.

    Actually, heads of large firms are saying that the up or out system is not sustainable. The experienced lawyers are not leaving big firms in large enough numbers because there are not jobs. The associate/counsel/contract partner pool of higher paid lawyers in big firms is becoming more top heavy each year. There is no room for people at the bottom if the higher paid lawyers cannot leave. So you have large scale sleath firings in BigLaw- one by one or a few at time where the firm is big enough that they do not know each other.

    These employment statistics touting BigLaw jobs are banking on a system that is not sustainable.

    Long term there may be under 5,000 real legal jobs in the United States that one can hold at age 54 and retire from at age 65 for each law school class of lawyers in the United States The number may be less than 5,000 for each law school class once you hit the later years. It is impossible to know the real number without actual data.

    In any event, these first year numbers do not reflect the real long-term employment situation for most lawyers, and do not reflect career outcomes for lawyers. They obfuscate the non-sustainability of the current system by putting on rose colored glasses and not looking beyond 9 months from graduation.

    1. How difficult would it be to collect data on graduates' outcomes five or fifteen or twenty-five years after graduation? Would people respond to surveys? Could they be tracked down? I suspect that people would increasingly refuse to answer questions about income.

    2. It should be opposite to work in reverse. If you look at all the big law firms and companies, they all have we profiles of their attorneys. That shows the age and school of the attorney.

    3. There should be enough opportunities for those older lawyers if they didn't face competition from the numerous newly minted lawyers pumped out each year.

      The truth is despite being highly populated and litigious, America can only support a very limited number of new lawyers each year. 20,000 is a figure I've seen here, but the actual figure may be lower (15k?). Lawyer is a niche profession to which very few can ever aspire.

    4. Unfortunately, it has been billed as something that everyone and her pet gerbil should be pursuing. I'd impose much higher standards for admission to the profession. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but semiliterates should not be practicing law.

    5. I agree. I wish we could convince people to just not go. To read about people on TLS debating the merits of a diploma mill like Georgetoen just because it is in the T14 is crazy-making.


      This is the thread about Georgetown.

      The discussion of debt versus employment is minimal. I love it when the students at the school try to explain why it isn't as bad as it looks. These are the people still on the inside and not exposed to the job market yet.

    7. Again, these people don't even wonder whether law school makes sense; they merely assume that it does. So then the only question for them is whether Georgetown is decent relative to other law schools.

      Lambs to the slaughter.

    8. With 500,000 non-solo law jobs in the U.S. there are 12,500 jobs per law school class if the jobs were evenly distributed. 25,000 first years get jobs.

      There are not a million law jobs in the U.S., (which would enable all starting lawyers to work for 40 years).

      There are more jobs for younger lawyers than older ones, given this high number of first year lawyers who are actually hired to work as lawyers relative to the total number of lawyers in the U.S.

      Lambs to the slaughter is the only way to describe what happens to lawyers as they age - more and more need to be forced out of the legal profession with these numbers. The numbers do not work otherwise.

      No one knows what chance someone who gets a first year job has of working 40 years in the profession, but the odds look pretty stacked against most lawyers from these numbers.

      So it is not only a problem of graduating too many law students for the number of jobs. It is also a problem of too many jobs for younger lawyers as a percentage of overall lawyer jobs, by leaps and bounds too many, if lawyers who actually get first year jobs are to have a prayer of a real legal career.

  13. I heard from a deceased Naval Officer that the Japanese Zero based on a Howard Hughes design.

    Not many people know that.

    1. I heard that if you fail the bar, it is difficult to do well in law. Most people know that.

    2. Oh yeah? Well, I've seen some recent polls that suggest more or less conclusively that 51% of the people are in the majority.

  14. When doing a brake job, remember this:

    Sometimes you can loosen a rusty old bolt with lots of liquid wrench and progressively heavier taps with a lump hammer. No need to tap out that rascally old stubborn bolt if you don't have to!

    And always remember to spray the back of the new pads with "Permatex Disc Brake Quiet" (My product of choice)

    Otherwise you might go thru all that work and end up with squealing and have to remove the pads again and spray them anyway.

  15. Something from the dean of the law school at York University in Toronto:

    It's true that Canadian law schools cost much less than their US counterparts; tuition at some is only a few thousand dollars per year. But Sossin presents all of the usual tripe about a vast untapped market of clients with no money and the many opportunities for law graduates in politics and the arts. He even sells the unbundling of legal services as a great opportunity for lawyers.

    1. It may be helpful to note here that Osgoode School of Law is generally regarded as the top law school in Canada. It's comparable with Yale or Harvard in Canadian terms. It's actually somewhat surprising that the dean would actually talk about a "crisis" at all in his position, even if it is bunk.

    2. Osgoode as the top school? I'd say McGill or Toronto. In any event, those are the big three.

    3. By the way, Canada has opened two new law schools in the past year, after more than thirty years without a single new one. And there are plans to open a private Christian law school. The claim is that these institutions will serve rural communities. Pffffft.

  16. @11:33 AM

    There are no more issues, except for the raw survival issues after the life destroying SL debt situation.

    Student loan debt destroys the credit score, as well as all hope of gettign a car loan mortgage etc, and even a credit card, and it prevents the job applicant from getting employment because prospective employers view a SL debtor as a moral American Criminal.

    The Credit 4th branch of the US gov't has the most power of all over humanity in the USA today.

    And so, and after three or so wasted shit years, and once the race against the debt is lost, the debt will ensure that the race will be closed to the debtor applicants looking for jobs that require clean credit, which sl debt destroys.

    What the hell? Law school teaches critical thinking, and the A students end up teaching and the B students end up working for the least critical thinking C students.

    Is that not the fable? And logically the critical thinking benefits the A students and less so for the B students and the C students are impliedly the leats of the "crtitical" and also the morally ardest working and have to tolerate all the rest of the A and B students in the great sea of human struggle and Capitalism?

    A tidy thing. Tidy indeed and somehow moral in a way?

    The bottom line is the bottom line and if I work all day in the Blue Sky Mine there will be food on the table tonight.

    1. Usually students teach at a lower ranked school that what they graduated from. Did the A students at Touro all go teach at Cooley?

    2. Student loan debtors already have repayment programs available, similar to Chapter 13 bankruptcy, but with longer and more lenient repayment terms, such as IBR and ICR. And a lot of us repaid our student loans without using such programs. What more do you want?

    3. There's food on YOUR table even when you DON'T work. That's the problem.

    4. Be careful - not everyone can get IBR or ICR.

    5. Some people refuse to do either. They just get free room and board from their parents until they croak - LOL, like some kind of white trash trust fund.

    6. @12:09 PM

      Actually he is on ICR. He is mad that taxpayers are not bailing him out fast enough. Doesn't like it that taxpayers want him to make an effort to pay back the loan. Says that it is a violation of his human rights.

    7. In any other country, they would probably just make him into dog food.

  17. And if I work all day in the Oil Fields of North Dakota there will be food on the table tonight.

    And pay in my pocket tonight.

    As always this is all satire and seems to stimulate people into a wild and pornographic fury and reply. After all, a human protecting a pile of money is 10X more furious than a Bear protecting his or her cubs.


    Milton Berle

    1. Here is another Saturday Night Live skit about a JD Painterguy like character. Plus this one is set in Manhattan like JD Painterguy.

      The Legend of Mokiki

      Plus there is always the possibility of Medical experimentation for JD Painterguy to pay back the student loans.

    2. Plus there is this classic JD Painterguy like character.

      "My name is Matt Foley, I am a motivational speaker, and I live in a van down by the river."

  18. Hey! This is Skip Bitman as John Wayne, the President!

    But seriously folks, and like John Candy said: I thing there is no more greater thing than people being able to disagree with each other, be it in their own living rooms, or on national TV.

    I had many reservations about sharing this, but in the end and with a heavy heart felt that it is imperitave that I do so.

    One will have to watch the whole thing and I recommend that all with no humor do not watch:



  19. I propose a census-like requirement that each year doe your bar license, you must register and take an anonymous survey of your hours and earnings that year, law school class, etc.

    That would be a good start to accumulating data for experienced lawyers.

    Thats a better mandate than stupid pro bono and cle hours many cannot afford.


    1. Better yet, make all salaries public information.

  20. 61st!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. DJM: I may not be a visual person, but those charts don't make anything clear to me. Is there a better way to represent this data? With a line graph or something?

    Sorry I'm just not as good at these data analysis things as you seem to be.

    I did grasp that there are 3 Stanford grads who are unemployed, I wonder what is up with them?

  22. My favorieet Stanford grad is the brilliant guy who know runs the great website Rap Genius.

    He is a Yale UG, Stanford Law alum who got a year off from Dewey (remember them?) back when everyone was getting year deferrals. For some reason they fired him, possibly related to Rap Genius.

    He is doing well, but completely out of law as far as I can tell.

    So even Stanford grads don't always last long in the practice of law. At least he was gone from Dewey before that ship sank.

  23. Article about LST's article on Law school reform:

    The article is here:

    Another great job by LST!!

    1. FYI:
      the article is published in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform.

      as well as being on SSRN

    2. Sorry to post again:
      But here is the article's title:

      The Crisis in Legal Education: Dabbling in Disaster Planning


      Kyle P. McEntee
      Law School Transparency

      Patrick J. Lynch
      Law School Transparency

      Derek Michael Tokaz
      Law School Transparency; New York University School of Law

  24. The whole system is a disaster in an oversaturated market. The up or out policies guarantee a high level of employment in the legal profession. They build in training for many more lawyers than the economy can absorb long term. For many lawyers, top 250 law firm at first year will equal long-term unemployment.

    1. Meant to say the up or out policies guarantee a high degree of unemployment in the legal profession.

      There has got to be a better way- like asking the top 250 law firms to record how many associates who left the firm were employed/ unemployed seeking work at departure and then a year from departure to assure a lawyer is not leaving the big firm for short-term work.

      I do not meet the qualifications for 90% of the jobs in my practice area because I have too much experience. Almost all of the open jobs have experience caps. I have all the right substantive experience for these jobs but am too old. Me and a number of other older people in my practice area who were formerly regular full-time workers in BigLaw for many years are now unemployed for the long term. The best we can get is temp work that is very scarce (work a couple of months every two or three years) or solo practice.

      Don't wait to sign up for this guys! Apply to law school now if you want to join the long term unemployed.

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