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Getting Schooled in Law Loans (The ABA is now persuading College Students NOT to go to law school)
CNBC ^ | 01/03/2011 | Stephanie Landsman

Posted on 01/04/2011 10:10:03 AM PST by SeekAndFind

The American Bar Association has officially issued a warning on its website.

The ABA is now making the case to persuade college students not to go to law school.

According to the association, over the past 25 years law school tuition has consistently risen two times faster than inflation.

The average private law student borrows about $92,500 for law school, while law students who attend public schools take out loans for $71,400. These numbers do not include any debt law students may still have from their time as undergraduates.

Before the recession, the ABA cites statistics that show an average starting salary for an associate of a large law firm of about $160,000 a year. But by 2009, about 42 percent of graduates began with an annual salary of less than $65,000.

And those are just the newbies.

Flanagan & Einwohner partner Stewart Einwohner says he has been getting resumes for pro bono work from experienced lawyers.

"Some of the resumes that have come across my desk are from attorneys who have good skills and impressive work histories, and they are offering to work for free. Rather than sit at home with no salary and nothing to do, many of these attorneys are offering to work for free in exchange for something to put on their resumes. Their strategy is to keep their resumes fresh with the hopes of finding something long term," said Einwohner.

The ABA is also warning of endowment losses, declining state support, and difficulties in fundraising that have hit law schools hard. It expects most public schools to raise tuition this year by 10 to 25 percent.

(Excerpt) Read more at cnbc.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aba; badeconomics; lawschool; loans

1 posted on 01/04/2011 10:10:05 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Interesting story. This is basically a "cartel" of lawyers trying to stem the flow of new competitors in the market.

It was really only a matter of time before lawyers' salaries began to decline dramatically, and astute young people began to realize that a $70,000 to $90,000 investment in law school may turn out to be a very bad deal.

2 posted on 01/04/2011 10:15:20 AM PST by Alberta's Child ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: SeekAndFind

The fewer lawyers the better.


3 posted on 01/04/2011 10:16:03 AM PST by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The real error in these decisions to go to law school to “make money” is that people haven’t closely examined the distribution of law school graduate pay.

There’s one very large law firm in NY that pays new hired very well, and other than that, the new grad salaries are very much under $100K for the numerical majority of law school grads.

http://www.nalp.org/08saldistribution


4 posted on 01/04/2011 10:18:54 AM PST by NVDave
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To: driftdiver

America probably has the most number of lawyers per capita in the world.

Be that as it may, the advise not to go to law school at this time might be a sound one.

I have a nephew who graduated law from UCLA and passed the bar last year. He still hasn’t found any job anywhere in California.

His degree is not portable as he has to take the bar in another state if he wants to move to another state.

The only place that will recognize his Bar credentials is Washington DC.

You’re better off being a certified Plumber, Mechanic or Microsoft or Oracle software developer.


5 posted on 01/04/2011 10:21:07 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

the thing is, this kind of thing isn’t restricted to lawyers. There’s a growing legion of professionals competing for shrinking pool of entry level professional jobs. The economy doesn’t need more professionals right now, it needs more jobs, blue collar and white collar.


6 posted on 01/04/2011 10:25:47 AM PST by RC one (WHAT!!!!)
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To: Alberta's Child

no here is the real fact.

Law schools simply have waaaay too many first year seats. There are more seats than applicants.

ANYBODY, and I do mean ANYBODY, with a four year degree can go to an accredited law school.

The ABA should be calling for the CLOSING of some of these law schools that are nothing more than diploma mills and cash cows for universities.

Seriously, if you just close the law schools opened in the last 15 years that would help. The ABA is being hypocritical since their accreditation program created this mess by handing out accreditations like candy.


7 posted on 01/04/2011 10:27:35 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: SeekAndFind

Before the recession, the ABA cites statistics that show an average starting salary for an associate of a large law firm of about $160,000 a year. But by 2009, about 42 percent of graduates began with an annual salary of less than $65,000.

There’s not a first-year lawyer IN THE WORLD who’s worth $160K. And it’s the ABA’s fault salaries got that high to begin with. Another in the list of reasons I’ve never been a member.

Colonel, USAFR


8 posted on 01/04/2011 10:32:11 AM PST by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
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To: driftdiver

“The fewer lawyers the better.”

People say that until they need one.

I am not an attorney, but it has occurred to me, without a class of aggressive attorneys, we’d live in a police state.


9 posted on 01/04/2011 10:40:10 AM PST by Persevero (Homeschooling for Excellence since 1992)
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To: jagusafr

The $160K “bulge” in the distribution I posted from NALP is due to a handful of big law firms in NYC and Boston who compete with each other for the top 20% of the law grads in the country. It isn’t so much the ABA’s fault as the fault of this small group of high-flight law firms on the east coast.

And you’re right - there is no first-year graduate of law school who is work > $100K. There’s no law degree that should cost $90K either. The problem is created by both the law schools and the few high-profile firms; the high profile firms paying too much and too many law schools telling applicants a story that these salaries are anywhere near the norm.


10 posted on 01/04/2011 10:44:54 AM PST by NVDave
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To: Alberta's Child

If I understand this article, it seems the ABA is fulfilling Shakespeare’s oft-quoted canard “Let’s kill all the lawyers...” by trying to cut them off from the source.


11 posted on 01/04/2011 10:48:59 AM PST by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: jagusafr

I belonged to the ABA my first year of practice and promptly quit.

Entry-level salaries in most states are not great, nor have they really ever been. There are very few large firm associate jobs out there. 22-year-olds starting law school are too naive to realize that most of them will not make that kind of money, so they ring up the debt with stars in their eyes.


12 posted on 01/04/2011 10:50:50 AM PST by keepitreal ( Good manners never go out of style)
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To: NVDave

actually the NE firms compete for the graduates of a very small list of ivy league schools.

In fact Justice thomas makes it a point to hire a few NON harvard and NON yale graduates for law clerks. (unlike his collegues)

Law school deans spew the same manure of there is always room for good lawyers. They don’t tell that to the good lawyer of 40 years whose firm just “downsized”.

law school is a joke today. The new law schools have the law professors who would never have been admitted to law school 30 years ago.


13 posted on 01/04/2011 10:51:44 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: T-Bird45

The ABA is a liberal bastion which does not represent most lawyers or lay citizens.

they can’t allow a means for conservatives to continue to become lawyers.


14 posted on 01/04/2011 10:54:26 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: All

we have all sorts of goofy referenda on the state level.

Why not just prohibit state law schools when at least one private law school exists?

Then it is just a matter of capping the number of licencense for law schools to the size of the population.


15 posted on 01/04/2011 11:04:11 AM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Alberta's Child
This is basically a "cartel" of lawyers trying to stem the flow of new competitors in the market.

Agreed! In fact, the monopolistic law school accreditation only makes the system much the worse. Bar exams should be open to anyone willing to take it. (That would scare the sh!t out of existing lawyers.)

As it is, hiring a lawyer is like jumping into a shark tank judging which one will naw on you the least while hoping they actually do their job.

16 posted on 01/04/2011 11:08:45 AM PST by the_conscience (We ought to obey God, rather than men. (Acts 5:29b))
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To: SeekAndFind

Imagine what would happen if they simplified taxes with a flat rate or VAT. Millions of jobs would vanish. I sometimes suspect that half our GDP is real, the other half parasitic, in terms of government regulations, cronyism, and outright corruption. Excess lawyers is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.


17 posted on 01/04/2011 11:12:45 AM PST by King Moonracer (Bad lighting and cheap fabric, that's how you sell clothing.....)
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To: SeekAndFind

When I entered law school in 1996, there were 170 accredited law schools. Since then, the ABA has accredited 30 more. (There are still more in the pipeline)

Moreover, the ABA is driving up the cost of legal education through accrediting mandates and educational experiments — such as the massive cost of legal clinical education — much of which adds little value to legal education.

The top salaries are not just a handful of NY firms, but scores of big firms in every major legal market. Having said that, firms like my former firm — now an AMLAW top 15 firm, are paying associates in some markets 20K less than they paid me ten years ago. Think about that, 20K less than I made 10 years ago.

Yet, the ABA is pushing to relax standards for entry into law schools, including eliminating the LSAT.

Lowering standards and dumping supply in any market will not improve quality or sustain pricing.

The good news is, you can now get a crappier lawyer for less money. :-)

We could probably increase the quality of lawyering, reduce the false expectations of big money, and have a better, more ethical brand of lawyer by shutting about 100 law schools.

Having said that — people are and should be free to spend their money on the education of their choice. We should not regulate stupidity.


18 posted on 01/04/2011 11:30:43 AM PST by Iron Eagle
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To: Iron Eagle
Funny how some lawyers claim to be for free enterprise except for their profession.

Castrate the ABA and their dictatorial powers and allow free enterprise to weed out the chaff.

19 posted on 01/04/2011 11:48:00 AM PST by the_conscience (We ought to obey God, rather than men. (Acts 5:29b))
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s a start, but I prefer a bus at the bottom of the bay approach.


20 posted on 01/04/2011 12:05:25 PM PST by A Strict Constructionist (Oligarchy...never vote for the Ivy League candidate.)
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To: keepitreal; NVDave

...and that’s why we get so many lawyers circling like jackals around the PI cases: everybody thinks they’re somehow entitled to a million-dollar verdict within the first 5 years (or ever!). What needs to be taught is: do the right thing, the right way, for the right reason. The rest will take care of itself.

Colonel, USAFR


21 posted on 01/04/2011 12:29:02 PM PST by jagusafr ("We hold these truths to be self-evident...")
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To: the_conscience

“Funny how some lawyers claim to be for free enterprise except for their profession.”

This is true of any high paying profession. Remember it wasn’t many years ago that you could read for the BAR exam and medicine was a more on the job training experience than a school experience.

The argument is that things are more complicated now. That is only true for the more advanced areas of these professions.


22 posted on 01/04/2011 12:39:38 PM PST by A Strict Constructionist (Oligarchy...never vote for the Ivy League candidate.)
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To: A Strict Constructionist
“Remember it wasn’t many years ago that you could read for the BAR exam and medicine was a more on the job training experience than a school experience.”

One of the first tenants of Progessivism is that a specialized ruling elite is needed because the unwashed mass is incapable of self-government. Nowhere is this mindset more prevalent than in the legal profession.

23 posted on 01/04/2011 12:50:56 PM PST by the_conscience (We ought to obey God, rather than men. (Acts 5:29b))
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To: the_conscience

“One of the first tenants of Progessivism is that a specialized ruling elite is needed because the unwashed mass is incapable of self-government. Nowhere is this mindset more prevalent than in the legal profession.”

I have to agree, since I’m at a Medical University, you haven’t lived until you have had a minor deity Medical Director tell you how to operate in you area without knowing anything about it.


24 posted on 01/04/2011 1:39:18 PM PST by A Strict Constructionist (Oligarchy...never vote for the Ivy League candidate.)
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To: SeekAndFind

There are too darned many lawyers, anyway.


25 posted on 01/04/2011 2:55:08 PM PST by JimRed (Excising a cancer before it kills us waters the Tree of Liberty too! TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: jagusafr
What needs to be taught is: do the right thing, the right way, for the right reason. The rest will take care of itself.

Amen to that!

26 posted on 01/04/2011 9:00:18 PM PST by keepitreal ( Good manners never go out of style)
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