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Is Law School a Losing Game? (Yes!)
New York Times ^ | January 8, 2011 | DAVID SEGAL

Posted on 01/09/2011 5:40:41 AM PST by reaganaut1

...

To judge from data that law schools collect, and which is published in the closely parsed U.S. News and World Report annual rankings, the prospects of young doctors of jurisprudence are downright rosy.

In reality, and based on every other source of information, Mr. Wallerstein and a generation of J.D.’s face the grimmest job market in decades. Since 2008, some 15,000 attorney and legal-staff jobs at large firms have vanished, according to a Northwestern Law study. Associates have been laid off, partners nudged out the door and recruitment programs have been scaled back or eliminated.

And with corporations scrutinizing their legal expenses as never before, more entry-level legal work is now outsourced to contract temporary employees, both in the United States and in countries like India. It’s common to hear lawyers fret about the sort of tectonic shift that crushed the domestic steel industry decades ago.

But improbably enough, law schools have concluded that life for newly minted grads is getting sweeter, at least by one crucial measure. In 1997, when U.S. News first published a statistic called “graduates known to be employed nine months after graduation,” law schools reported an average employment rate of 84 percent. In the most recent U.S. News rankings, 93 percent of grads were working — nearly a 10-point jump.

...

Apparently, there is no shortage of 22-year-olds who think that law school is the perfect place to wait out a lousy economy and the gasoline that fuels this system — federally backed student loans — is still widely available. But the legal market has always been obsessed with academic credentials, and today, few students except those with strong grade-point averages at top national and regional schools can expect a come-hither from a deep-pocketed firm.

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


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: lawschool; lawyers
We have too many lawyers, and law school graduates who can't find jobs will not be able to repay federally backed student loans. Why don't we simply END federal student aid for law school. People who want to attend should save on their own and/or get private loans.
1 posted on 01/09/2011 5:40:42 AM PST by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1
...and law school graduates who can't find jobs will not be able to repay federally backed student loans.

Oh, they will. They will have to work for the govt. in ways and places they never dreamed.

2 posted on 01/09/2011 5:50:52 AM PST by raybbr (Someone who invades another country is NOT an immigrant - illegal or otherwise.)
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To: reaganaut1

Are there any types of jobs in this country that are NOT vanishing???? I read somewhere — this country is dying; the economy at least. Becoming a 3rd world country is JUST around the corner — here in some big cities....


3 posted on 01/09/2011 5:51:35 AM PST by Jerrybob
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To: reaganaut1

What do you call 10000 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?

A good start.

What is the difference between a lawyer laying in the middle of the road and a snake laying in the middle of the road?

There are skid marks before the snake.


4 posted on 01/09/2011 5:52:06 AM PST by Ev Reeman
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To: reaganaut1

Law school is a winning game ONLY if you are in the top 10% of your class or go to an Ivy League school. Otherwise, it is rare that someone who goes to law school gets a high paying job. These days, if you don’t go to a top 20 school and are at or below the middle of your class, you’ll end up unemployed with a huge debt.


5 posted on 01/09/2011 5:55:06 AM PST by Opinionated Blowhard
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To: reaganaut1
AWWW,TO bad for the lawyers who spend their lives finding ways to steal money from corporations(sue for false claims like the gulf oil producers,etc.) and from taxpayers(the perpetuation global warming scam) and from fellow citizens (slipped on the ice, sex scam cases at work, etc. etc. etc.) but very good for the health of the people who pay out to these base lawyers cheating the system at every turn they can devise. And so many scam lawyers become scam politicians, democrats and rinos the worst of all.
What do you call ten thousand lawyers chained together at the bottom of the sea?
A very good start indeed.
6 posted on 01/09/2011 5:56:41 AM PST by kindred (Come Lord Jesus, rule and reign over all thine enemies.)
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To: reaganaut1

What happens is so many students graduate and cannot find jobs that are suitable to their high standards. They then decide they want to be a lawyer.

Anyone that wants to go to law school can. There is more than enough money for them in the way of federal grants and loans. There is some sleazy school that will more than gladly accept their money.

The problem is that we don’t need more lawyers. We’ve got 20x what we need already. Colleges and universities are big-business and they want to keep their classrooms full. If someone cannot afford it, taxpayers pay for it even though we don’t need it.


7 posted on 01/09/2011 5:57:56 AM PST by boycott (CAL)
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To: reaganaut1

Why not end the whole NEA with its dirty lawyers and teacher unions and regulators that destroy education and make children into the most evil of peoples,that is, liberals and rinos?


8 posted on 01/09/2011 5:58:18 AM PST by kindred (Come Lord Jesus, rule and reign over all thine enemies.)
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To: reaganaut1

Not too surprising, given the large number of lawyers there are.

What we need is for more people to become doctors, and fewer people to become lawyers. But as long as you have laws that restrict the number of doctors, you’re going to have more young people going into other professions.


9 posted on 01/09/2011 5:58:30 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: reaganaut1

the Law is vehicle of control and suppression for the Feds. It is their most valuable tool.


10 posted on 01/09/2011 6:00:55 AM PST by mo
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To: reaganaut1
Oh crap ...........now I'll never get a job! Wait a minute, I'm retired ............. TS colleagues, you're on your own out in this dog eat dog world! Happy hunting .........:O)
11 posted on 01/09/2011 6:01:39 AM PST by Old Badger (I still like Palin as she will take no prisoners and ___ the survivors.)
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To: reaganaut1

Given the tremendous drag on the economy that lawyers are, this is a good sign.


12 posted on 01/09/2011 6:02:37 AM PST by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: reaganaut1
Lawyers are only trained to deal with other lawyers by a set of rules lawyers make for themselves.

I've never understood why they think so much of themselves.

13 posted on 01/09/2011 6:03:28 AM PST by Glenn (iamtheresistance.org)
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To: reaganaut1

Lawyers have infested & perverted every aspect of our lives. Remember that at any given time trial Lawyers vote between 95 to 98% Democrat.

Democrats get more money from Trial Lawyer PAC’s than every other source combined.

Virtually all national & local Democrats are Lawyers.

If you ever stop to wonder why a company does some silly thing it is almost always because of Lawyers. I just bought a ladder that is covered top to bottom with stupid warning labels in 5 languages, like at 54 I do not know how to use a ladder without the help of a filthy lying liberal Democrat Lawyer.


14 posted on 01/09/2011 6:03:52 AM PST by fuzzybutt (Democrat Lawyers are the root of all evil.)
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To: boycott

What happens is so many students graduate and cannot find jobs that are suitable to their high standards. They then decide they want to be a lawyer.

I thought most lawyers just got bored selling used cars.


15 posted on 01/09/2011 6:04:39 AM PST by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: reaganaut1

One should not have to go to law school or be licensed by the bar to be a lawyer. It is corruption that created this barrier of entry.


16 posted on 01/09/2011 6:07:07 AM PST by JimWayne
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To: freedomfiter2

I thought most lawyers just got bored selling used cars.


So many are like used car salesmen. Some are good and some are bad. Either way, there’s just too many of them and they’re a burden on society.

Law schools should be putting out about 20% - 30% of their current number of lawyers. They’re not going to stop it, however, because it’s too profitable for them.


17 posted on 01/09/2011 6:21:17 AM PST by boycott (CAL)
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To: reaganaut1
Here's a horrible fact that no law school dean will tell you..

...it's only worthwhile to go to law school if you graduate in the top ten percent and make Law Review.

That's why the powers that be made sure His Precious Oneness graduated in the top.

The lower ninety don't get job interviews, period.

18 posted on 01/09/2011 6:21:28 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: Brilliant
Laws don't restrict the numbers of medical personnel (it's hard to be a nurse, too)--it's hard and expensive to educate medical personnel.

All you need to make a lawyer is a classroom, books, teacher...that's why there are so many basement walkdown law schools. You need a hugely expensive infrastructure to educate doctors, dentists, PAs...

So if you think some kind of guild system kept you out of medical school, you've been living a life of misguided resentment.

19 posted on 01/09/2011 6:26:03 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: Mamzelle

Actually, the laws do restrict the number of doctors, albeit indirectly. You need to be legally licensed, and in order to be licensed, you must (by law) graduate from an accredited medical school, and in order for a school to be accredited, it must receive the approval of something called the Liason Committee on Medical Education, which is a committee whose members are 1/3 appointed by the AMA, 1/3 appointed by the teaching hospitals, and 1/3 appointed by the medical schools themselves. The LCME uses its control over the accreditation process to restrict the capacity of the medical schools to accept medical students and reduce the number of graduates, which obviously ultimately reduces the number of doctors that can be licensed. They’ve been doing this for almost 100 years, and that has built up a significant distortion of the number of doctors relative to the population.


20 posted on 01/09/2011 6:34:49 AM PST by Brilliant
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To: Brilliant
It may be that this has limited them to a certain point, but not by much.

And Hillary shut down medical schools, so I guess you could count that.

But when you consider that a teaching program costs hundreds of millions of dollars to get started, and dozens of millions to run each year, it is the laws of scarcity that dictate, not some guild behind the scenes plotting to keep the #s of personnel low for their own devious ends.

Case in pt--we are starting to import physicians, many from Islam. (shudder) If it was cheap to educate doctors, don't you think schools would have emerged? Instead, we take advantage of overseas medical schools to train many of our new docs.

21 posted on 01/09/2011 7:05:05 AM PST by Mamzelle
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To: reaganaut1

My son graduated from law school 3 years ago, was accepted as a Navy JAG and spent most last year in Afghanistan putting bad guys away in Afghan jails that would otherwise have been part of the “catch and release” program. Not all lawyers are bad.


22 posted on 01/09/2011 7:10:33 AM PST by Nakota
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To: reaganaut1

If you think we have too many lawyers, you must think legal services are under priced. Or does the free market not apply, or is this just a blind spot for Conservatives?


23 posted on 01/09/2011 7:25:33 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: Opinionated Blowhard

Law school is a winning game ONLY if you are in the top 10% of your class or go to an Ivy League school.


Or if you are smart, a risk-taker, and know how to market, or at least are willing to learn.


24 posted on 01/09/2011 7:26:23 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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To: JimWayne

One should not have to go to law school or be licensed by the bar to be a lawyer. It is corruption that created this barrier of entry.


We agree, but those who are convinced that “we have too many lawyers” couldn’t possibly want MORE, which eliminating barriers would do.


25 posted on 01/09/2011 7:28:10 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed ("If you touch my junk, I'm gonna have you arrested.")
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At the risk of inviting flames, I am a partner at a major national law firm. Depending on one’s perspective, lawyers cause numerous societal “problems.” It is easy to forget that we play a significant role in oiling the gears of the corporate economy since we help incorporate new businesses; assist companies in raising money; structure various mergers and acquisitions; help companies go public; acquire and protect the intellectual property of our clients; assist our clients in navigating the maze of federal and state regulations, etc.

Like the economy in general, the legal profession is highly cyclical. It boomed in the late 90’s with the dot-com bubble, collapsed after that bubble burst, was doing well in the mid 2000’s, and has been hit hard by the burst of the housing bubble.

Basically, in boom times a sizable fraction of law school graduates from decent law schools will be able to find good jobs. That fraction shrinks appreciably during the busts. Even so, someone graduating in the top 20% of their class from one of the top 25 schools should be able to land a job at a mid-size to large law firm. Law firms can’t just stop hiring new associates for very long. Law firms use a pyramidal economic model and simply must have new lawyers constantly joining the ranks. As with everything else in life there are still good jobs available for those who are smart and work hard.


26 posted on 01/09/2011 7:33:40 AM PST by Zap Brannigan
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To: Zap Brannigan

As an attorney who is self employed and finally starting to get to the point of being able to pay off my debts, I believe the real solution to the problem talked about in this article (and it is a very real problem) is to cut off all federal student loans for law schools.


27 posted on 01/09/2011 8:32:59 AM PST by The Man
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To: Zap Brannigan
A good friend was a REIT lawyer for Jenkins Gilcrest.

A couple of shady lawyers in an acquired Chicago office brought down the whole firm.

In most cities there is a Christian Lawyers association that does much good.

In every city there are sleazy types who only think of their next million dollar case and their mistress.

At this point, there are too many John Edwards and not enough good guys.

28 posted on 01/09/2011 8:55:16 AM PST by texas booster (Join FreeRepublic's Folding@Home team (Team # 36120) Cure Alzheimer's!)
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To: reaganaut1
law schools reported an average employment rate of 84 percent. In the most recent U.S. News rankings, 93 percent of grads were working — nearly a 10-point jump.

"Would you like fries with that?"

(It doesn't say what kind of work...)

29 posted on 01/09/2011 9:39:30 AM PST by Moltke (Always retaliate first.)
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To: Moltke

For what it’s worth, my firm has seen a significant uptick in corporate and securities work that began in early October and has been consistently strong since then. Hopefully, a positive sign about the macro economy.


30 posted on 01/09/2011 9:44:22 AM PST by Zap Brannigan
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To: JimWayne; Zap Brannigan
One should not have to go to law school or be licensed by the bar to be a lawyer.

I don't think it's that simple. You have to pass the bar exams to represent clients in court. Not sure to what extent you can otherwise represent yourself as a lawyer.

Zap,

There are non-Bar law programs/degrees so someone must be taking them. Do you know of such people? Do they find work in legal research or some such?

31 posted on 01/09/2011 9:55:40 AM PST by decimon
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To: decimon

You can’t give any legal advice as a lawyer unless you pass the bag exam.


32 posted on 01/09/2011 10:00:23 AM PST by TexasAg
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To: TexasAg

Sorry, bag=bar.


33 posted on 01/09/2011 10:02:16 AM PST by TexasAg
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To: TexasAg
You can’t give any legal advice as a lawyer unless you pass the bag exam.

Sorry, bag=bar.

Some are bag men, some are buttons. ;-)

34 posted on 01/09/2011 10:17:56 AM PST by decimon
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To: decimon

I think you are referring to the fact that in some states, notably California, you need not graduate from an ABA accredited law school to practice law. But you must still pass the bar exam to practice.


35 posted on 01/09/2011 10:37:05 AM PST by Zap Brannigan
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To: Zap Brannigan

Glad to hear so, and -snarky comments aside- let’s hope it is in fact a positive sign for the macro economy.


36 posted on 01/09/2011 10:40:25 AM PST by Moltke (Always retaliate first.)
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To: Beelzebubba
We agree, but those who are convinced that “we have too many lawyers” couldn’t possibly want MORE, which eliminating barriers would do.

I don't care how many lawyers there are if there is a free-market in education and a free-market in the legal field. You should neither need a law degree nor a bar license to be able to practice law even when representing others.

37 posted on 01/09/2011 10:46:43 AM PST by JimWayne
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To: Zap Brannigan
I think you are referring to the fact that in some states, notably California, you need not graduate from an ABA accredited law school to practice law. But you must still pass the bar exam to practice.

I am aware of that. I know they even have distance learning law schools. And that California has a Baby-Bar exam for such students.

I meant law programs/degrees that do not follow ABA diktat and so do not allow for the taking of the Bar Exam. I know only what I've read of this and what I've read is that people graduating with such degrees might work in the background doing research or other scut work. And that may be entirely wrong but I don't know.

38 posted on 01/09/2011 10:49:42 AM PST by decimon
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To: decimon
You have to pass the bar exams to represent clients in court.

That is what needs to be changed. There is no need to make going to a court a tedious process. Anyone should be able to represent anyone else as long as they have an agreement and the filing process should be simple: you should have a form to state your complaint, a page where they ask for facts and evidence with ability to attach additional pages and that should be it.

Precedents should be the judge's job and should be optional for the person filing the complaint.

Why should filing complaint in a court not be similar to filing a complaint at the DoJ's office?

In reality, judges are corrupt and when people go to courts expecting justice, the judges come up with frivolous technicalities to not take up the case on its merit. Many times, these are appealable but the plaintiff gives up because of the amount of money already lost.

Lawyers for their part ARE BAD for the most part. When a plaintiff files a case, the plaintiff learns the process and is the one who is usually the most well versed in facts, law and the precedents.

The whole system is set up to benefit lawyers and to some extent the judges.

39 posted on 01/09/2011 10:53:08 AM PST by JimWayne
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To: decimon

I’m not familiar with the programs to which you refer. Perhaps these are simply standard paralegal programs? For those who don’t know, paralegals are the master sergeants of the legal profession and principally handle case logistics (e.g., filing, working with vendors, arranging depositions, supporting attorneys at trial, and perhaps basic form preparation and legal research under attorney supervision). Paralegals are not permitted to file their own papers or argue in court.

FYI - in California, those who graduate from non-ABA accredited law schools must take and pass the same bar exam as ABA-accredited graduates. The Board of Legal Examiners only administers one type of bar exam.


40 posted on 01/09/2011 10:59:04 AM PST by Zap Brannigan
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To: JimWayne
Precedents should be the judge's job and should be optional for the person filing the complaint.

So the plaintiff should be able to choose which law applies to his case? I'd hate to be a defendant in that system.

In reality, judges are corrupt and when people go to courts expecting justice, the judges come up with frivolous technicalities to not take up the case on its merit.

Have any real-life examples? After all, a lot of people say little things like the 4th Amendment are "frivolous technicalities".

Many times, these are appealable but the plaintiff gives up because of the amount of money already lost.

So you think the system is skewed against plaintiffs? That sure makes the whole push for tort reform a head-scratcher.
41 posted on 01/09/2011 12:06:44 PM PST by The Pack Knight (Laugh, and the world laughs with you. Weep, and the world laughs at you.)
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To: Zap Brannigan
FYI - in California, those who graduate from non-ABA accredited law schools must take and pass the same bar exam as ABA-accredited graduates. The Board of Legal Examiners only administers one type of bar exam.

Yeah, that's been brought up in some distance learning forums. They also have a 'Baby Bar' exam (First Year Law Students' Exam).

A search came up with little on non ABA law programs outside of California. Either I'm out of date or just had it wrong.

This is interesting:

"The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has waived the usual requirement that all takers of the state bar examination must be graduates of an ABA-accredited law school for a licensed California attorney who got his law degree in 2004 from Concord Law School, a non-ABA-accredited online institution."

Cont... ABA Journal

42 posted on 01/09/2011 12:34:29 PM PST by decimon
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To: decimon

“I know only what I’ve read of this and what I’ve read is that people graduating with such degrees might work in the background doing research or other scut work. And that may be entirely wrong but I don’t know.”

From the standpoint of efficiency, it’s probably a very good thing. Just as a nurse practitioner is just as good as an internal medicine doc for giving a routine physical, there’s no need to be squandering high cost resources on doing work that really doesn’t require that high a level of education etc.


43 posted on 01/09/2011 1:29:05 PM PST by DrC
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