The percentage of female 1Ls rose fairly steadily from 1967 (when it was just 4.9%) through 2001, when it hit 49.4%. But after 2002, the percentage started to decline. In fall 2010, the peak year for 1L enrollment, women constituted just 46.1% of the incoming class. That sounds like a marginal decline until you consider this fact: In 2009, the most recent year for which data are available, women earned 57.2% of all bachelor's degrees. If women constitute 57.2% of all college graduates, why do they make up just 46.1% of entering law students?
It's not because women lack the intelligence, interest, or drive to attend graduate school. Women earn many more master's degrees than men do: The same census report from 2009 shows that women received 60.4% of the MA's awarded that year. Women even outnumbered men on the PhD platform, although the sexes were more evenly divided there with women earning 52.2% of those degrees.
So why don't more women come to law school? Why aren't our classes 55-60% women instead of 46%? Men score somewhat higher than women on the LSAT, but women have higher college grades. The sheer preponderance of women graduating from college should give them an advantage--if they wanted to go to law school.
The fact is that women's interest in law school has fallen. The percentage of women law students closely tracks the percentage of women law school applicants. Fewer women than men apply to law school today. And female applications, notably, fell off when law school tuition began to dramatically exceed expected salaries. Are women simply more price sensitive than men about legal education? There are good reasons that might be the case:
- Women's starting salaries are lower. When entry-level salaries crested in 2009, women reported a median salary of $68,000 while men reported one of $75,000. Note that for purposes of this comparison, it doesn't matter why that gap exists. Even if women prefer public interest jobs while men prefer private practice ones (and there is evidence of this pattern), that still reduces the salaries that women can expect from a law degree. [I'll add the standard caveat that reported salaries are considerably higher than unreported ones. But that fact is unlikely to negate the gender difference; the same percentages of men and women report their salaries.]
- Women are more likely to leave the full-time workplace, at least for a period of time. The national study After the JD II tracked a group of law graduates first admitted to the bar in 2000. Seven years later, only 76% of the women were working full-time; 14% were employed part-time; and 10% were unemployed. In contrast, 96% of the men were working full-time; 2% were working part-time; and 1% were unemployed. [Important note: These employment figures probably skew high for both sexes, because of selection bias among those who responded to the survey. But that bias probably had little impact on the gender difference.]
- Even when women remain in full-time positions, the salary gap between them and men grows over time. Seven years after bar admission, the full-time women workers responding to After the JD II enjoyed a median salary of $89,000; the men reported one of $105,000. [Again, these medians undoubtedly skew high--for much the same reason that salaries reported to NALP skew high. But the bias probably has little effect on the gender gap.]
- Probably because of these differences, women are slower than men to pay down their law school debt. The men and women responding to the After the JD study reported identical median debt levels in 2000 ($70,000). By 2007, the median remaining debt for men was $50,000 while for women it was $54,000.
Things may get worse from here. The brutal employment market suggests that law graduates would be very unwise to step out of that market. Could a woman today take five years out of the workplace to raise young children, then return to a secure legal job? That was once possible, but the odds of doing that today seem vanishingly small. Could a woman even work part-time for a few years? Or find a job that has regular, predictable hours?
Conversely, what about a single mother who wants to provide securely for her children? Can that woman count on steady legal employment in today's market? If she's laid off from a legal job, will she be able to find other work to support herself and her children? If it takes 20 years to discharge her law school debt, and if she applies at least 10% of her discretionary income to that debt each year, will she be able to save for her children's college educations?
The same questions apply to men. There are some men who want to limit their work hours or leave the workplace temporarily to care for their children. There certainly are men who worry about supporting those children, as well as about saving money for their children's education. Achieving those ambitions through law school is much more uncertain today than it was 25 or 30 years ago. If you care about having and cherishing children, does it make sense to incur debt that will take at least 20 years to discharge, while embarking on a career that demands strenuous hours and imposes increasing risks of periodic unemployment?
As legal educators, we can't eliminate all of these risks. But we should think hard about why women have shown a declining interest in law school: They may be telling us that the product is not worth the price for them. And we should worry that the same price, combined with the saturated legal market, will also turn away men who want to raise children with their own dreams of higher education.
What about women? They have no business in university - let alone law school - in the first place.ReplyDelete
It's common sense.
Let's face it people. The modern world is fully wicked and disordered. It is no surprise to see a "society" where women can be professionals to also be at the same time be a cleptocratic "society."
I'm guessing Painter on this one . . .Delete
Obvious troll is obvious.Delete
BTW protip: kleptocratic. with a k.
The ALPHA MALES running the law school business made women out of you losers. They fucked you hard, up the ass, and left you whining like sissies on blogs.Delete
Everyone has a role in this world, and your role is to be the bitch to winners. If law schools didn't do it to you, some other alpha would have.
Accept your place in the ecosystem and shut your mouth.
you sound like such an idiot. wow.Delete
I mean, I knew men were dumber than women (a lot dumber), but I never knew they were THIS dumb. Scary to think these type of men/animals are out there in the workforce.Delete
Well, probably not. My guess is that you are unemployed losers.
"So why don't more women come to law school?"ReplyDelete
Because women are smarter than men.
And remember, if you think that the number of slots in law school should be reduced, that means you hate women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups, and want to return to the days when Professor Kingsfield humilated large Harvard classes comprised solely of white males. (Here, I've saved a couple of law school professors from having to comment on this post.)
You are also a backwards sexist if you think that women are more prone to temporarily drop out of the job market than men.
Show us your tits, dummy.Delete
As far as educators worrying about a decline in females entering law school, I would prefer that they didn't. Law school leaves a huge portion of those who attend financially destitute. Worrying about those who were fortunate (or smart enough) to escape that result is like worrying about people who don't get shot and killed at night and wondering about how you could change that statistic to make it increase. Am I missing something?ReplyDelete
Please, please, please, academia, don't think about this. If women aren't attending law school, that means that in the future, there will be less indebted female grads we have to worry about, and that is only a positive thing.
As to suppositions why, I am sure it has to do with the fact that the legal field is not a very friendly place for women. Neither is it a very friendly place for men either, but in our society, it is still women who take on primarily responsibility for the children, so being in an unfriendly work environment while still having primary responsibility for children = stress and conflict. Women are probably seeing that the legal field is very family unfriendly, so if women wish to have a family, then they are probably realizing that the legal field is not the profession they should choose. It seems pretty simple to me.
Completely agree. Maybe academics should see this as a sign things are changing, not simply worry that women aren't going to law school.Delete
Women shouldn't be going to law school and neither should men .
Be glad for the drop.
I am sure you have a great fan following out there.lexington law reviewReplyDelete
As an unemployed older female Columbia Law grad desperately looking for a job, there is a big problem here. There are no jobs for older women. I need a job. All of the jobs that I otherwise qualify for have experience caps that I do not meet. Columbia Law School is a scam for women like me. My female classmates and I at Columbia have few or in my case no employment options. What should I do when no amount of looking produces a job? I need a job.ReplyDelete
I don't think this is just Columbia grads. Also, after years of practice, your T6 degree doesn't matter if you can't generate business.Delete
I'm not sure what you expected. Did you think going to a prestigious school guaranteed you employment for life?
Understand that current Columbia grads are worried about getting their first job. That degree doesn't open as many doors as before. Because there aren't enough jobs. I know many grads would be thrilled if they knew they could manage to be employed for 30 years.
I guess I'm saying that the job market is brutally competitive. I don't understand why you are as surprised by this fact as any starrry- eyed special snowflake who strikes out at OCI or gets no offered.
What do you think this blog is about? The huge oversupply of lawyers and the devastation it has on employment.
ACC has about 1,000 open jobs right now...Delete
A lawyer needs to have experience in an area where there are open jobs. There are none in my geographic area for my practice area.Delete
When I went to law school, this imbalance of supply and demand did not exist.
The problem is that if one is trained in an area where solo practice is not likely to produce much if any work, as is my case, the Columbia Law degree is worthless and a scam. I surely did not expect long term unemployment and a worthless degree when I signed up for Columbia Law School. To say to me that I need to be a solo in an area where there is no demand is like Marie Antionette's "Let them eat cake.". There is no work for a solo. I cannot compete in other practice areas as I do not have the requisite experience.
The problem is the gross oversupply of lawyers. How can you not see that? It isn't just about you.Delete
Do you honestly believe it is just your one are that is suffering?
There isn't work in many areas. What do you think happened to all the project finance lawyers or the real estate lawyers after the crash. They lost their jobs. It is doubtful all of them have recovered.
You may need to start figuring out another career path. Relying on your Columbia degree and bitching about no work in your practice area is not going to get you a job.
If the imbalance of supply and demand did not exist when you went to Columbia, then the school did not "scam" you. You predicament was the result of your own doing.Delete
The number of lawyers relative to jobs changed drastically over my career. By the time it became so imbalanced that it affected me personally, I was too old to start a new career that would have offered a better chance to hold a six figure full time permanent job. I say six figures because my BA alone would produce six figures for most experienced grads of my college in my high cost geographic area who work full time in the private sector.Delete
People on this blog talk about boomers scamming them. Well, it is the ABA, law school admininstrators and federal government that did the scamming and ruined this profession for at least two thirds of law school grads, who it appears do not hold full time permanent legal jobs and cannot get these jobs. It also appears that many of the younger lawyers who have jobs are walking into a straight and narrow path to unemployment.
A career sector where older people are limited to holding jobs at a much lower percentage than young people and cannot get hired for most open jobs in the portion of the sector that employs the most people because they are too experienced is not normal. This is the essence of age discrimination.
I wonder what all the buggy whip manufacturers did when the world moved on and no longer needed them?Delete
Think they figured out something else?
How long did they go on and on complaining that after centuries of buggies and whips, no one needed them anymore?
Unless you start your own business, you are going to be hard pressed to find a paying job that requires a BA, let alone a JD as an older female Columbia Law grad. Look at the first comment on the last post by LawProf. The point is that law is not a versatile degree insofar as getting hired from unemployment goes. It is a toxic degree, as there are not enough law jobs by a long shot for lawyers, and non-law employers do not want to hire unemployed lawyers. So where does one go? Serving food in a corporate cafeteria with one's Columbia law degree and Princeton BA?Delete
I can tell the women considering Columbia that there are few jobs once you age out of Biglaw. There is no demand for my services. You are taking a huge risk that you will be completely unemployable going to Columbia.ReplyDelete
Again, this isn't just Columbia. Do you think if you went to Harvard it would be different? It isn't the school- it's the oversupply of lawyers.Delete
It is a scam.Delete
As part of this scam,you are severely at risk of long term unemployment if you practice in a service area.
Lawyers who are trained in service areas as specialists are going to be hard pressed to open a solo shop and make any money. If the law firms will not hire or keep experienced specialists and there are few in house jobs in the specialty, anyone going into that specialty has a good chance of being trained for unemployment.
The concept of you have to be on your own after a few years works well for some practice areas, and not so well for others. Law firms cannot just keep churning out support lawyers in numbers far greater than the market can absorb, turning them out on the street and expecting these lawyers to be nything but unemployed in very large numbers.
This system of you are on your own after a few years and no job will hire you is a proxy for unemployment. 93# employment statistics being offered by the top law schools to 0Ls are a scam in these circumstances.
You missed the part of the scam that means schools lied about employment and charged outrageous tuition because they could.Delete
No one at Columbia has ever published a statistic that says older women will always be employed for the rest of their lives until they choose to retire.
When you went to Columbia, the tuition was laughably affordable compared to the huge burden students take on now.
How can you consider a 30 year successful career with minimal debt in any way close to the current devastating scam?
I know you can't help being a boomer- but try harder to be aware of the world around you.
So the women in the older classes at Columbia should be greeters at Walmart? That is a good result because law school cost so little when they went. They had the chance for a 30 year successful career so Walmart is an acceptable result. Especially with a BA from Harvard. That is equal employment opportunity with the 93% employment rate for Columbia first years. Age and sex discrimination are ok if law school was cheap when they attended and they had their chance to work. These women are not victims of the law school scam. Only young people can be victims.Delete
The employment statistcs Columbia produces are bogus. They are mostly employment statistics for very young women insofar as they include women.ReplyDelete
There is very serious age and sex discrimination in the legal profession. This is my problem but Columbia Law School can and does look the other way to the complete unemployability of their older women grads.
lol I can't tell if it is the original poster or someone mocking him.ReplyDelete
This just in:ReplyDelete
Unpaid advertisement from two law-school touts.Delete
Executive summary of this article:Delete
blah blah blah
For those of us who are already unemployed, dumping still more lawyers on the marketplace? Maybe law schools will increase enrollment to make up for the loss of tuition. In any event,this proposal would immediately add 45,000 lawyers to the 900,000 unemployed lawyers in this country. Does not work.ReplyDelete
I don't want to sound like I am blaming women here.ReplyDelete
As has been suggested on this forum a large proportion of the increase in law graduates is due to women seeking legal education in numbers that fairly and reasonably reflected their proportion of the candidate pool and the workforce. That is to say that historically women were deterred from professional jobs because of sexism. As an example, my aunt, a well know lawyer (not in the US) found herself applying for jobs as a secretary, and so would have been, if a male partner in a top firm had not insisted on hiring her as a lawyer - se went on to be a well known and top civil rights lawyer.
That said, the increase in the number of law graduates, driven very heavily by the recruitment of women to the profession as an addition - not a re-proportioning has had the side effect of allowing firms to become much harsher places to work (I would lay a lot of the blame also on Stephen Brill and the American Lawyer (who promoted the policies) as well as the Hildebrandt consulting firm who hilariously also decry the policies such as leverage, minimum billable hours, etc. that they originated or at least popularised.)
The result of the vast number of law graduates emerging every year - massively in debt, desperate for a medium or big firm job - has been to allow firms to press harder on the leverage, the associates and non-salaried partners as they are often fairly easily replaced. Indeed it drove the use of associates for brain-dead work for which no one needs much more than a high school education - because they could be billed at high rates, eroding the value of most BigLaw associates experience even more. (I find that most bigLaw associates at 5-8 years know little more than when they left law school outside the narrow specialty their firms let them work in.)
The result is that lawyers increasingly don't do the high value work that their education and training should make them do, they do the work that a secretary or paralegal should do. Moreover, they spend inordinate amounts of time on this stuff - 2300 billables a year amounts to a 60+ hour week. This makes the profession, at least in BigLaw, medium law and the non-boutique areas of small law a relentless grind that is very bad for most of its denizens.
Now returning to women - the environment is harsh for young male associates and partners, but it is particularly unattractive for women in their 20s and 30s - who may want to have a family and children. Now I would be the first to agree that fathers should do more at home, but as a practical reality mothers tend to devote more time to having children and looking after them and we live in a society where young women aspire to be mothers (or to use the term that annoys me "moms.")
As the word has gotten out about how bad the life of a junior to mid-level lawyer has become - it is hardly surprising that there young women, empowered to go to law school - are deterred by what they learn about the practice of law - I'm surprised it does not turn off more of the young men.
But if you want to restore a situation where women apply to law school in numbers that are fair and reflect their proportion in the pool or potential candidates, reduce the number of law graduates so that supply is no long more than twice demand - that will change firm culture towards the leverage.
"As an example, my aunt, a well know lawyer (not in the US) found herself applying for jobs as a secretary, and so would have been, if a male partner in a top firm had not insisted on hiring her as a lawyer - se went on to be a well known and top civil rights lawyer."Delete
Say Hi to Mary Robinson from me (OK, with a side-bet on Macaleese, Helena Kennedy, Cheri Blair - actually the number of top British/Irish female human rights lawyers who are of the right age is larger than I thought)
Not either Mary or any of the others - tho' she knows themDelete
Not either Mary or any of the others - tho' she knows themDelete
This blog is all about reducing supply. What more can we do other than educate people .
Yesterday I said that a law degree is worthless for most grads. Actually it is worse than worthless, it is actually harmful because of the huge debt and the huge emotional toll. I wondered if you might agree with that statement? At what point is a law degree not worthless?
I do not completely agree - this blog is about lowering cost too.Delete
If ordinary people are going to be adequately represented they need lawyers who can survive on a pay-check of $60-100k. It may be that those lawyers will be on the mommy or the daddy track. However, the practical reality seems to be that with debt levels where they commonly are - competition as extreme as it typically is - lawyers cannot make a living on ordinary folks' matters.
Thus that law schools are churning out too many JDs and charging them too much money has destroyed the economics of representing ordinary middle class people. I am not going to say that I am badly paid - because I am not - but I could not afford to hire myself even for a small matter. All this shit that professors talk about the huge unmet need ignores the reality that they are the biggest reason that needs are going unmet.
I know people who were "the family lawyer," admittedly in their 80s. They were the sort of lawyer that a lot of families went to - from time to time - to draft a will, or when buying a house, small lawsuits, broken contracts. My grandfather had clients like that - and a lot of lawyers were like that. Fifty-seventy years ago lawyers were more affordable, but also more financially secure. That has disappeared and I blame the law schools - for all their maunderings about social justice.
I can see that lowering costs is an issue. However, I think that is unlikely to happen. Not when TTT schools think they need to be expensive so people think they are at the level of Harvard .Delete
It would be great if Yale or Harvard cut tuition, I guess.
My concern is that no one goes to law school. Without understanding all the consequences.
I thought Craig's post from yesterday was brilliant.
This blog may be about lower supply and cost, but that doesn't make economic sense. If supply goes down then the cost should rise even further. If supply goes up, then costs should fall. The real problem here is the unlimited supply of cheap government credit. Unlimited federal dollars has enticed schools to increase supply and cost at the same time.Delete
Nothing about law schools and tuition makes any economic sense. There is no reason for law school to be so expensive, yet it is.Delete
In fact law schools raised tuition in the face of decreasing demand, a feat proving them to be well outside the ordinary market rules of supply and demand.
The demand for legal education is dropping like a rock and will continue to do so as more and more people learn the truth. This is just the beginning.
As the demand drops, it makes no sense to increase the cost, which will only serve to further reduce demand.
There is a direct link between real numbers being published and the abrupt decline. This will continue.
There is a huge overcapacity in the law school system. Half the schools could close with no net loss to the number of grads who will find employment.
Mack- your comment grabbed my attention as the same thing is happening in med schools. People graduate with six figure debt and it factors into the speciality they choose. Why be a PCP when an ortho surgeon makes much more and the debt can be paid down. Everyday medical matters need attention too, but the cost of education is just too much.Delete
An okay article, cutting the third year would be a good idea. But it fails to mention, once, the most pressing problem law schools face and that is training too much lawyers.ReplyDelete
They also state how there is a "huge unmet need" among lower/middle class Americans for legal services. This is an idea peddled by many law professors as a way to justify overproduction of lawyers. Quite possibly this is a myth, as most lower/middle class Americans rarely need a lawyer, and when they do its usually for perfunctory matters.
I agree that the allegedly huge "unmet need" for legal services among the middle/lower classes may be a myth, but more precisely, the "need" is utterly irrelevant considering the reality that none of these people have money to pay a lawyer, and no third party exists to pay lawyers to represent these people.Delete
The law professors of the world are safely ensconced in their little fake bubbles of student loan money such that they can afford not to realize this, but the American people are simply tapped out. There's no extra money to be siphoned there. If there was any money there, the larger economy would not be as stagnant as it is.
I'll be working at the legal aid clinic in my neighborhood tomorrow morning. None of the attorneys volunteering there will be getting paid. Based on past experience, none of the clients will have a spare cent to their name. The clinic is run by a rotating cast of (usually) young women, on 1-year public interest fellowship. There is really no money to be found anywhere in this entire scenario, and to some professors this is apparently the untapped well of legal services that's going to provide solid career opportunities for the marks entering law school today. It would be comical if the lie wasn't so offensive, borne out of total detachment and ignorance.
I've been volunteering there for 6 years -- still waiting for the first law professor to come in and get their hands dirty interviewing clients about their eviction, divorce, and collections cases.
It would probably be malpractice .Delete
Anyway, are there any studies of this unmet need and how much it costs to full it?
Surely you're not suggesting that law professors do useful research about the legal market?Delete
The way the legal market works today the exclusion of older women from high paying jobs is institutionalized. The value of my Columbia Law degree is zero as I cannot get a job. Experience caps on every job I could do have put me out of work and into institutionalized unermployment. Almost none of the other women in my Columbia Law School class qualify for or have high paying jobs, or real legal jobs for that matter. You have to be young to get a legal job. Older women need not apply because under law's dirty little secret you will not be hired and will not be retained in a legal job.ReplyDelete
Could you please elaborate more on this? I haven't seen this issue covered in any other posts before. I'm specifically interested in learning more about aged women from Columbia and no other schools.Delete
The whole post by LawProf immediately before this covered the basic points.Delete
Columbia publishes stats with over 90% employment. Those stats do not hold for older women. Many are unemployed or underemployed and the law firms will not hire them absent a book of business. You need the job to get the business, a chicken and egg problem.
No, I'd like more posts specifically from this aged woman from Columbia about her plight in the job market. Please post more frequently as these posts are so rare.Delete
You can make light of it, but the employment rate for older women in law firms that are likely to pay even 6 figures is about 5% of the women in my class. Maybe 5% more of the women have high paying corporate jobs. There are some women in the government.Delete
The men are employed in high paying jobs in the private sector at many times that rate.
I think the figures at other top law schools may not be much different.
Who goes to a $250,000 top law school for a 10% chance to work in the private sector after several years? You may as well go to Vegas.
Minorities are just as badly off.
I'm not making light of it as others might be which is why I'm asking for more posts on this.Delete
Minorities are in dire straights in NY. No partnerships anywhere i have been except for really good lawyers who lost those partnerships. I know a couplw of people who are Asian wno did well (one in a small firm), but the very talented African American lawyers I know all uniformly got screwed by Biglaw.Delete
Women in my law school class include three big winners who made millions and lots of losers who do not even hold jobs today. A few are government employees, but most of the rest are not working in real jobs where they can make any money. Some of these women were affluent to begin with and others have working husbands, so no one is starving. I believe that many of the non-workers would go back to Biglaw in a nanosecond if they could. These are very hard working women who were and are absolutely committed to working as lawyers. Problem is that they cannot get jobs as lawyers.Delete
Maybe women are smart enough to avoid going to law school in the first place?ReplyDelete
The problem is that Columbia is graduating too many lawyers. My class was 275. Today the class is 450, with 90 transfer students.ReplyDelete
The class at Columbia does not all get jobs because it is too big, especially the 90 transfers have a hard time finding jobs.
Problem is that I am competing with years of unemployed Columbia grads in my efforts to get a job.
Columbia Law School needs to reduce their class size big time and focus in getting jobs for their backlog of unemployed grads like me.
Experience caps on most legal jobs are not acceptable, but they put money in Columbia's pockets by severely inflating the number of first year jobs and leaving older lawyers, many of them women, in a legal job market where they are too experienced to qualify for a single job.
Hello, Columbia Law School. Your older women grads are unemployed.
4:02 I agree with you. I have a dispute, a consumer complaint, over a little more than $7,000 which also requires a specific performance remedy to resolve satisfactorily. If the other party refuses to mediate that dispute, my only option is going to superior court. Small claims is not available. Problem is that going to court is too expensive relative to the amount of the claim. The answer here is to require the other party to submit to mediation. Training a surplus of lawyers for the poor does not resolve this claim. The problem is that it is not cost efficient for any attorney to go to court here.ReplyDelete
You have heard the phrase:Delete
"There ain't no justice under a hundred grand" - it refers to the idea that the likely recovery has to be at least a hundred thousand to justify the cost of pursuing it. I remember when the number was 30k but still. The issue that worries me is that we are forced to reject clients with meritorious claims for sums which tough not adequate to justify pursuing the case, are often big numbers for them. For most average Americans $7k is a lot of money - a big financial hit. I certainly remember when I would be hard pressed to put my hands on that much cash - and even today it's a few mortgage payments.
Aye, there's the rub! People in the middle class are rarely going to be mixed up in ltigation that isn't covered by insurance or involves enough money to justify the cost of a lawyer.Delete
Most people need lawyers for buying houses, writing wills and divorces. Around here the fees haven't gone up much in twenty years due to competition, many refinances no longer involve lawyers at all and over half the pending divorces involve at least one pro se party. There is nothing that will offset the trend. It will just keep getting worse and worse.
We have a meritorious claim of just over $7,000. We have decided that it is not cost efficient to go to court. We are not poor. It is still a lot of money to throw away when you know you should not be paying it.Delete
The problem here is that law school administrators are using the fact that the legal system does not provide a cost efficient remedy for every dispute or issue to overproduce lawyers.
Prewar buildings in many northeastern areas have plaster walls and hand laid parquet floors. Today when these areas need replacement, the replacements are sheet rock and the floors come in sheets. The point is that it is not efficient to build that way any more because labor is too expensive.
Legal educators would like us to believe that by overproducing attorneys, the attorneys will be able to take on matters for the poor that it is not cost efficient to take on for the middle class.
In fact, that is nonsense. There is no way for an attorney to take on a matter that is the equivalent of hand laying a parquet floor on a cost efficient basis. The attorney could not take on this matter cost efficiently for the rich or the middle class. Answer is that it cannot be done for the poor either, and the attorney does not have work to do if attorneys are overproduced.
This eliminating the third year of law school (the article in the New York Times) is the worst idea ever. Eliminating the last year without addressing the reason tuition continually goes up simply means that you cut the last year and in five years, law school costs the same as it does today, except it will be one year less.ReplyDelete
Why does everyone think that if they stick their head in the sand or create a quick fix solution, that this problem will simply go away? Let's really address the problem and do some real work on it, like try to ascertain WHY and take steps to prevent law school tuition from continually rising. The only way anything is going to get done.
By the way, Prof. Campos, great job at the CATO the other day. Good watch.
Furthermore, there would be even more graduates.Delete
That is a really good point, 6:13. I had never thought of that. (I am not trolling, I am being genuine. It really had never occurred to me that in reducing the years required for a degree we might be shooting ourselves in the foot. (Sorry if you all had already caught on to that and I'm just exposing my ignorance.))Delete
My small firm - 10 lawyers - just had two midlevels quit, both women. We were just about to get a return on the investment and training we put into them. Both left shortly after they got married. THis is very common.ReplyDelete
I don't blame them. A successful legal career, a good marriage, and raising kids are not compatible goals for most. Law is just not a good career choice for women when the metric of success and productivity is the billable hour - yet another reason why it needs to go.
I also won't blame my partners if the firm avoids from hiring more women in the future. We lose money. I do wish I had company though.
A Female Partner
As a GC I had a firm of trademark agents assign two young mothers job sharing to me. They both had very similar names, backgrounds and accents. Each worked a 20 hour week. However, neither seemed to tell the other anything. I would get asked for something by this shared person - and get back stuff to her - only to find things did not happen. I'd call back to get a complaint - "but you did not send me" ... "But I did" "no you didn't" this went on for a few months until I worked out that neither told the other anything - so much time wasted - I never knew who I was talking to, never know what they were doing - they had no real interest in their jobs - and their bills showed each duplicating the other's inefficient activities.Delete
Fired the firm.
Did it occur to you [or them] to propose a "job sharing" situation?Delete
At least you wouldn't have lost your return on their training.
When I arrived as GC they were the trademark agents and had foisted this on the company. It was a bullshit idea because neither of the two was prepared to do what it took to make it work - and they blamed the client for their ball dropping and miscommunication. They were actually both poor at their jobs as well as not communicating or I might have said to their firm - pick one, only one part-timer and I will work with her - but this job sharing shit is making us pay for bad service double what we should have to.Delete
I don't understand the point of this article. We want people to understand how schools have deceived them . We want people to understand the truth of the employment situation.ReplyDelete
We should be celebrating the decrease in women applying and attending law school- this is a sign that our mission is slowly but inevitably, succeeding.
Why isn't this a cause for celebration ?
I'm confused as to why gender matters unless you are trying to say that women understand money just a little better than men do.
I think no one should go to law school next year. I don't care what gender you are, law school is a terrible financial choice with limited stability.
I agree with you-- I had this same reaction. Regardless of what conclusions we think we can draw about gender as a whole, that should not detract from the bigger picture.Delete
Welcome to DJM's world. If you want more clueless non-sequiturs, check out her "Law School Cafe" site.Delete
Some of the ideas at the CATO - at least one raised form the audience are not good. There was one obvious lobbyist who asked about allowing non-lawyers to do more legal work - see him as a shill for a few companies in this space.ReplyDelete
I have seen this in action in a few countries now - notably the UK and Ireland and it has gone pretty badly. At the heart of the problem is that the non-lawyers are not subject to any rules or discipline worth considering - they have no duty towards their clients - they cannot be disbarred or struck off - horror stories abound.
One example, young man greviously injured - a claims company doorstepped his mother and got him via her to sign a contract appointing them his agent for his claim - and giving them I think 40% but it may have been 50% contingency (something a UK lawyer cannot do.) They did nothing for about 2 years. The family then hires a solicitor who wins a settlement intended to pay for adapting a house and some money to this now disabled young man - and by the way as is customary in the UK the solicitor gets the costs (attorney's fees) too. Now the claims company shows up - having done nothing - with the claim form and demands its 40-50% and sues the young man - and the courts say it was a binding contract. No rule against the claim company having such a contract - they are not solicitors or barristers.
There are other stories like this - from the conveyancing business. My international cellphone is a UK phone - I get spam SMS all hours of the day and night from Indian call centres illegally retained by the Claims Companies - there is nothing anyone can do. If solicitors and barristers get struck off they often show up as "legal consultants" continuing the very things that got them into trouble.
Formal bars were adopted in almost every jurisdiction in the world for good reasons - to protect the public. Now we have a bunch of libertarian loons wandering around saying the public don't need that protection - backed by a bunch of companies that see lucrative businesses in selling people what are likely to be dodgy services.
Yeah, I'm sick of all the libertarian crapola about letting everyone practice law. The profession is, if anything, underregulated already.Delete
I agree with Anon. The bar does not regulate the profession. There are too damn many lawyers, and everyone who can get through college and fog a mirror can become a lawyer.Delete
This issue is peripheral. But, if we're going to spend time on peripheral issues, I think we should focus on men, and why they have fallen behind women in attaining college degrees--as the good professor noted herself. Not on why a disproportionate number of women are not being sucked into law school.ReplyDelete
Well said..I am exactly looking for the same post that I have got at your blog, I am not sure if someone can let me know, is their any way to book Escorts Barcelona or may be one in Escorts doha , please helpReplyDelete
Lol. DJM posts an article about women and the spammers add links to female escorts.Delete
Sorry I just found that funny.
Perhaps, women understand that Biglaw firms are concerned that their female associates will want to have children at some point. The pig partners don't want to accomodate young mother associates. To them, their profits are far more important than their workers or their families.ReplyDelete
Maybe women are smarter about the subtleties of the legal job market. They see young attorneys who are struggling to make $35K per year, and they don't dismiss those people as mere "losers." Or they notice that nearly every lawyer they know has a working spouse.
Law school also tends to attract type A personalities. Young men see such broke-ass attorneys, and they think "That will not be me! That guy just didn't work hard enough." (Because pushing papers and using one's cut and paste skills is the epitome of hard work, right?!?!)
"The pig partners don't want to accomodate young mother associates. To them, their profits are far more important than their workers or their families."Delete
Ever consider it has more to do with meeting client needs?
Lord Jesus preserve us! Some sick animal just left a huuuuge "Seton Hall Law" clogging up the office toilet! The janitors are shouting and running around feverishly trying to destroy it!ReplyDelete
To MacK's post at 6:23 -- good points about Cato. Their ideal world is a world without regulations or rights; where corporations and wealthy individuals can do whatever they want. In short, their ideal world is a world without a need for any lawyers. For lawyers looking for a job, they are not your friends.ReplyDelete
Why is there a drop in female applicants? Let's see...ReplyDelete
Talked to a female law clerk not long ago, who was in the state's program to train district attorneys. Newbies work for a year as a law clerk and, if they are successful, go on to become district attorneys. The young lady mentioned that the work hours were 7 days a week, from 7am to 9pm. Everyone also had stored at the office their pajamas and food for those times when they had to pull all-nighters, which was not unusual. Kind of reminds me of the hours of factory workers at the turn of the nineteenth century - you know, those working conditions that everyone worked hard to abolish, like the 7 day workweek?
Just talked to another 'retired' DA and former defense attorney. She is in her 40's. She mentioned that for the last 15 years, she has worked 15 hour days.
And the question was, why aren't women going to law school? Hmmmm, that's a hard one to figure out.
Keep in mind, the above is for public interest lawyers, who typically tend to earn less. I imagine the situation is worse for BigLaw types. Also keep in mind that the above is being exacerbated as more and more firms and organizations hire less and increase workloads. It appears that if you want to have children and be an attorney, you are never going to see them...
Eh I saw my son every day as a biglaw associate. The babysitter would bring him to the park for lunch every Thursday. I saw him at home every night and worked after he went to bed or got up early.Delete
The real problem with biglaw is exhaustion. The hours were grueling. It doesn't matter what you are doing with your time away from the office - kids or not.
Law is a tough profession, and more competitive than ever. It is deadline-driven, time intensive, confrontational, adversarial, and high stress. These are just innate qualities of the practice.ReplyDelete
It should come as no surprise that many women who consider entering the practice, look at what has happened to the female pioneers. Their mothers, aunts, friends, area role models broke into a profession that was openly hostile to their gender. They broke down these barriers and changed attitudes. They showed that law could be done at every level by individuals regardless of gender.
These female pioneers were not, however, able change the practice. On the other hand, the practice did negatively change many of them. It made them bitter, angry, adversarial, stressed out, substance abused, emotional, lonely, childless (or worse, burdened by troubled children), confrontational, and paranoid.
Law is now more money driven, more competitive, more confrontational, more adversarial, more deadline driven, more time intensive, and less collegial. (Note -- this is not meant to suggest that these characteristics had anything to do with the entry of women into the profession or sexism -- it just states a fact of modern legal life).
Looking at the nature of the practice of law, and what it did to female pioneers, it should come as no surprise that many women say "thanks, but not thanks" and opt for a career (or a family, or both) that is more sane, and more balanced.
My Mother went to Law School while in her 40's. This was during the 1990's while I was in grammar school and high-school.Delete
She put in hard work and study at a decently ranked, large state school and graduated high in her class. She did this at night, while maintaining her full time job during the day. Though I barely saw her from age 14-18, I gave her all the credit in the world for this achievement, and things looked real good when she took a job as assistant GC at a fortune 100 company ($$$). It justified having a lack of a "Mom" in my life for those years because now we were on to bigger and better.
Except things went horrible.
Within 4 years she was driven out of that job (For a lot of crazy things, some her fault, some from the working environment), she was too old to be gainfully employed as an attorney some where else, and she was still on the hook for plenty of student loans.
It ruined her. It ruined our family. My Parents got divorced because she started blaming Dad for her lack of success because he just was not that ambitious, but she could never realize it was her own ambition combined with this horrible industry that doomed her. When people say that circumstances can bring the best out of people, we should realize that circumstances can also bring the worst out of people too.
We speak on Christmas and Mother's day now. That's it.
The one positive: I was in undergrad as my family was falling apart, and I decided then to never go to law school, and always play "devil's advocate" with others that said they wanted to go into law.
Crazy how today so many more people can relate to my story.
Women tend to be victimized much more than men in house. It was true when I started practicing and is still true. Women can do everything right and come flying out of the job for "fit" reasons, which roughtly translates into only the popular clique is going to hold a job here and if you are not accepted to that clique or fall out of it, you are history.Delete
Men have much better track records at holding in house jobs. Men are held to lesser standards to keep their jobs, are subject to less scrutiny than women, and do not have to be tight in the clique to survive on their in house jobs.
That is the way it has been for years.
I am sorry you, your mother and family had so much trouble on account of this cruel treatment that in house jobs perpetrate on many women lawyers.
"When people say that circumstances can bring the best out of people, we should realize that circumstances can also bring the worst out of people too"Delete
This is absolutely true. Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals character.
The sad part of this story is that your Mom worked so hard for nothing.Delete
She was without question a victim of the scam. It seems your whole family fell victim to the scam. It just hasn't been exposed yet.
Personally I prefer to work with women as they have often gone overboard to prove they belong in the same room with me. However, at some point they decide to marry and procreate. At this juncture, the firm takes a second seat to the female associate's family and before you know it, you start getting calls such as "I can't make the motion hearing because I have to take little Johnny to the pediatrician." The work product begins to suffer and you start seeing more baby formula stains on their briefs and everything they hand you smells like baby powder. And then you have the female associates who decide to have kids on their own without an active father. Those are the worse. I stopped hiring women 8 years ago and my practice has been a lot smoother since. The legal profession is misogynistic-it always has been. Don't hate me because I surely didn't make up the rules.ReplyDelete
Plenty of women with grown children and top records would give their eye teeth for a legal job. No interference with children or anything else. Just work, work, work from these women. Law firms do not see that. They just see over the hill women they do not want to hire.ReplyDelete
6:21 am - I don't agree with you. I think this article neither calls for celebration or criticism. I think it is a reflection that a certain number of women either intuit or correctly process the difficulties which are inherent in a legal career, and decide to attend less often than men.ReplyDelete
I think you are correct that more women, as well as more men, should be making the decision not to attend law school - ever - but the notion that a reasonable number of women may be making better decisions about law school is I think an decent start of a trend which must continue to increase if there is to be any sanity in the legal marketplace.
9:09 a.m. - your balanced comments reflect my sentiments.
I think only women who believe they have perfect social skills in addition to enough academics to get a decent entry level job should attend law school. You need to be in a position to sell your services to strangers from stratch and keep enough business going on your own to support yourself solo.ReplyDelete
This surely was not my idea of law school, but with the oversaturated market, just being double Harvard, including Harvard Law Review, is not enough. You need to be the person who was always in the best sorority or fraternity and who the class always elected as their trusted leader. Maybe you have a real chance, and I say chance, because it is so iffy today, to have a real career if you have those superlative social and sales skills.
Unrelated to this post, but you guys really should keep reading Steve Diamond's blog. His latest post is about LawProf and BT at the Cato thing (which was awesome, by the way).ReplyDelete
He is just out there.
SCU's employment stats for the 2007 class are available through the Wayback machine. Their stats weren't as detailed as they are today, but they are more detailed than the simple "95% employed/starting salary of 120k" most other schools were reporting. Anyhow, the outcome of SCU's 2007 class cuts against Prof. Diamond's argument that the economic collapse is to blame for today's poor job prospects. Even then, a full year before the meltdown, only half of SCU graduates that reported their employment outcome landed jobs in firms of any size. Even then only 44% of the graduates were actually reporting salaries.Delete
On another note, I found a reddit AMA a law school admissions officer did two years ago. A few questions came from obvious law school grads perplexed by school's employment statics. Here's a couple of the admissions officer's answers:
"Law schools aren't interested in breaking down their employment statistics to students unless they are pressed to do so. I think this is a great disservice. But, I know that a lot of law students don't research or ask for in-depth information and breakdowns of the employment stats. Law schools will go in-depth if you ask, but won't if you don't. And most applicants just look at BIGLAW percentages, average starting salaries, and overall numbers and call it a day. I wish law schools were more forthcoming an informative and applicants were a little more diligent."
"Every school pads their numbers. Some are REALLY bad. I know that if you took out temp jobs and law school research assistant jobs, our stats would go down about 5% (which is pretty low). However, I have colleagues at a couple schools that have admitted to >10% padding. It's obscene and wrong."
Re: Santa Clara Steve's latest maunderings, the Con Daily folks have a good reply.ReplyDelete
Sorry, off-topic, but hopefully DJM or LawProf will pick up on this:ReplyDelete
Earle Mack School of Law’s Decision Day (that's Drexel, for those who didn't know)
Still looking for the right law school? Join us on Monday, February 18, 2013, in person or by Skype, for the Earle Mack School of Law’s Decision Day. On Decision Day, you’ll have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with an admissions counselor to present your application. Before you leave, we’ll let you know your decision, including a potential scholarship offer. Coupled with our no-fee application, it’s a great chance for you to get to know us and to get a decision immediately.
As an added bonus, we are offering a complimentary one night hotel stay for Sunday, February 17th to make this campus visit more convenient for you.
Plus, Earle Mack has a special offer for admitted students this year. We will cover the cost of your first year’s books if you enroll after attending one of the designated on-campus events.
Will the cookie truck be available?Delete
Is there a complimentary breakfast bar? Who's in?ReplyDelete
Latest Hot Entertainment News, Latest update about Bollywood, hollywood, pakistani GirlsReplyDelete
Women attorneys. Hmmm....I like big tits. Other than that, I'd rather deal with male attorneys as would the majority of the population. Look - I hate to say it, but when I see a women attorney, my first thought isn't whether this person is going to win my case or whether they will make a worthy adversary. Rather, my first male reaction is to ask myself whether this woman before me is someone I could see myself banging. Sorry all you women, you're better off going into the nursing profession.ReplyDelete
Years ago, my husband showed me an article documenting this point. As I recall, the research demonstrated that heterosexual men think about sex once every three minutes and automatically consider having sex with any woman they meet. (The article did not, to my recollection, address the tendencies of gay men.) My reaction? Why in the world do we let such easily distracted, hormone-driven people into the workplace? I think we've just proved that, bias aside, women can do the same work as men in about three quarters of the time :)Delete
You responded in kind, DJM. Which means, under the circumstances, that you lose.Delete
What? Outing down DJM for her response to a jackass? Where are all the men telling these morons to shut up and go away?Delete
Who really cares what men think when they first see a woman? What possible relevance does it have here except to demean women.
The posters on this blog are some of the most hate filled angry anti- woman people I have ever seen.
It does none of the men here proud.
Why you need to write insulting remarks on a blog designed to uncover the serious employment and cost issues in law, I don't know.
But if it makes you feel better, all those women you wonder about having sex with, they aren't thinking about having sex with you. So dream on in your fantasies.
I'm a male and I don't think like this depraved commenter. If you're civilized you aren't entertaining those thoughts and you're saying NO to them if they arise.Delete
An anonymous internet commenter, #717, dispensed peabrained sexism. This blog's esteemed proprietor, DJM, responded with the same.
Now, between the two, who do you think was the bigger loser in that exchange?
My point stands.
1027, not 717
532: In attempting quickly to establish your non-sexist bona fides, you debase the language. 717's post is not "depraved". Objectionable? Small-minded? Obvious trollery? Sure.Delete
Suggest we leave "depraved" for Hitler, Idi Amin and Charles Manson.
I'm sorry my comments touched such a nerve for you fuddy duddy academic dweebs. Maybe if you actually served time working for large law firms, you would understand how things operate. My experience is that law firms are full of male horn dogs, looking at the eye candy. I'm sorry if you can't handle the truth and that women do not receive the same level of respect as men in the legal profession. It's a male-dominated profession - hate to break it to you - and I hope it stays that way because I do not enjoy working with women one bit. Now go back to your little ivory tower and write your little law review article that no one will ever read.Delete
^ On a more serious note, I've found that women attorneys do not receive the same level of respect as men, which is why (as others have pointed out above) that it takes a certain type of woman to be successful in law practice. Personally, I can't stand the catty, bitchy types. I'd rather deal with tom-boy types. If you've ever seen the show Whitney (great show by the way), someone like a Roxanne (who's sexy in her own non-feminine way) would make a good female attorney. Bottom line - as a woman, you've got to be able to hang with the men, otherwise you're toast.ReplyDelete
Law is a very demanding profession. My daughter saw how much it took out of me and never once entertained the idea of going to law school. Perhaps one reason for the decline in female attendance at law schools is that this generation of women have seen (or heard) firsthand about the difficulty of meeting the obligations of family and profession.ReplyDelete
You can barely plan more than few days in advance as at any moment someone may file a motion to which a response is due immediately. The work is draining and the hours lengthy.
I have been practicing for more than 30 years and the work has gotten more demanding. In part this is due to computers. We are able to manipulate and transmit incredible amounts of data, but the human capacity to comprehend information has not expanded. I leave work feeling intellectually exhausted. I can't imagine even trying to cope with the needs of young children in this frame of mind.
The female Columbia law grad also raises a valid point. I had a friend who found herself unemployed and in her 50's. Firms simply would not hire her.
If you are not in a position to decide who stays and who goes by the age of 40, face it, you are toast. Either you are calling the shots or you should expect to be shot.
This is a brutal profession. Law school is just the beginning.
You are a partner in an Amlaw 200 firm. You worked for your whole life to get there, Now in your 30s, you want to work a little less and spend time with your young kids. You still work full-time but not 3,000 hours.ReplyDelete
Guess what? You are out of a job. Law firms want productive partners. No one else can stay.
After applicants to law school started to decline, the decline among male applicants was steeper than the decline among female applicants. Look at the link DJM posted for the year 2011:ReplyDelete
Look at the link: http://www.lsac.org/lsacresources/data/vs-ethnic-gender-applicants.asp
Male applicants are declining faster than female applicants. I also have access to the 2012 data and the current applicant data, and the data show faster declines among males. In fact, the latest 'current volume summary' shows more female applicants than male applicants.
"LPO warning to law firms as general counsel freeze them out"ReplyDelete
"...the total LPO [Legal Process Outsourcing] market, which currently employs nearly 9,000 people, equated to a mere 0.25% of the global legal services market, while anecdotal evidence suggests existing LPO users “have only outsourced about 5% of what they could potentially outsource”.
"Key future drivers for growth in the LPO industry were “continued budgetary pressure from general counsel” and “client pressure on law firms”, it said. A lesser driver for growth was alternative business structures.
A woman graduating with an Engineering degree can have her pick of jobs. Everybody wants to have a woman on their staff after all these years of propaganda/enlightment/whatever you call it. Plus nothing but guys at work has esthetic drawbacks.ReplyDelete
Strange to hear that that is not so for lawyers. Maybe lawyers are more alpha maley? more gay? lawyers not wanting to sue each other?
Dear Professor Leiter, I'm sure you're very disappointed that it took a commenter here days to get around to saying the following.ReplyDelete
Therefore, to assuage your disappointment, I offer the following regarding Prof. Merritt's statement that, "...female applications, notably, fell off when law school tuition began to dramatically exceed expected salaries".
It should be readily obvious to even the most casual observer that what has happened is the average potential female applicant has realized that the cost of the Mrs. Degree has gotten too high.
There BriBri, happy?
I actually know one of the pioneers of modern feminism. She was the first female valedictorian of her college,and the first in her law school to edit its review. And she was one of the first female associates in the firm in which she started. She left it to do civil rights work and helped corporations diversify and adopt more "family friendly" policies.ReplyDelete
As you can imagine, she worked longer and harder than nearly any of her male colleagues. It took a toll on her life: Her marriage didn't last and her daughter hasn't spoken to her in decades.
One of the big issues in the legal profession is the zero olerance policies that apply to older women, whether in house or in law firms. Very few older women have real legal jobs. Many practice areas are filled with unemployed older women, while businesses pay recruiters commissions for young women in the same area. The percentage of women lawyers holding full time permanent legal jobs dwindles starkly in one's 50s and after that it is curtains.ReplyDelete
The standards that apply to older women whether in a law firm or in house are much more rigorous than for younger women lawyers or for men.
Try to make a constructive suggestion for the future at a small meeting? The older woman will be interrupted and will not get to finish the thought. The portion of the thought she got out will be misinterpreted by the powers that be to be something critical - automatic grounds for immediate termination of the old woman.
The power that be gives out an assignment to the older woman without explaining every detail and is going away and will not be reachable before the assignment is due. If the assignment takes two hours to tweak when it comes back or takes a little longer than expected (no discussion of amount of time to be spent when the assignment was given out), that is grounds for immediate termination.
Every breath an older woman takes, every move she makes- the persons in charge are watching her and racking up excuses for termination. When the termination comes, especially in house, she will need to pack her bags and leave the building in a matter of hours. Men who are terminated get weeks or months of notice.
Try to get another job as an older woman after being treated like that? Forget it - no one is hiring older women. Sort of like the Nazis only accepted their own type and everyone else to them was trash. That is what you have to look forward to as a woman in law.
Try to get a real full time permanent legal job in a law firm without business after age 50? Forget it. Maybe, if you are really lucky and have a sterling recorc, you get temp work, and then spit out the door.
Try to go in house after age 50 as a woman? Maybe you will get in for a few months. No way you will get a lasting job unless you are at the level of managing many other lawyers.
In short, do not go to law school, even a top law school, if you need a reliable paycheck when you are older. You are not going to get one - just unemployment with periods of temporary work if you are lucky for a few months.
We provide Economics Assignment Help and Economics Homework Help, mail us your Economics assignment at firstname.lastname@example.org for accurate solutions.ReplyDelete
Your blogs are totally worth giving time and energy. free credit checkReplyDelete
Thanks you blogReplyDelete