Hattip to Instapundit. To all would be attorneys who read TAC, I have warned you about the law as a profession on several occasions, here, here, and here. You have been adequately warned! For those of you who ignore my advice and are jobless on graduation, you can always sue your law school. (Of course my first born is planning on following me in the law, so my warnings must be inadequate!) Now this post will have to be brief, because I have 10 calls to return, three bankruptcies to prepare, 2 trials to get ready for, and all the other charming events that the day will bring me in the law mines!
It’s grim reading. The observations are raw, bitter, and filled with despair. It is easier to avert our eyes and carry on with our pursuits. But please, take a few moments and force yourself to look at Third Tier Reality, Esq. Never, Exposing the Law School Scam, Jobless Juris Doctor, Temporary Attorney: The Sweatshop Edition, and linked sites. Read the posts and the comments. These sites are proliferating, with thousands of hits.
Look past the occasional vulgarity and disgusting pictures. Don’t dismiss the posters as whiners. To a person they accept responsibility for their poor decisions. But they make a strong case that something is deeply wrong with law schools.
Their complaint is that non-elite law schools are selling a fraudulent bill of goods. Law schools advertise deceptively high rates of employment and misleading income figures. Many graduates can’t get jobs. Many graduates end up as temp attorneys working for $15 to $20 dollars an hour on two week gigs, with no benefits. The luckier graduates land jobs in government or small firms for maybe $45,000, with limited prospects for improvement. A handful of lottery winners score big firm jobs.
And for the opportunity to enter a saturated legal market with long odds against them, the tens of thousands newly minted lawyers who graduate each year from non-elite schools will have paid around $150,000 in tuition and living expenses, and given up three years of income. Many leave law school with well over $100,000 in non-dischargeable debt, obligated to pay $1,000 a month for thirty years. Read the rest of this entry »
Some time ago I wrote a post entitled Ten Reasons Not to Go to Law School. Go here to read it. Number 7 cited the cost of legal education:
The cost of a legal education has become frighteningly high. Being a newly minted attorney, earning $40,000.00 a year and having 100k of debt, is not a good situation. I graduated with $7,000.00 of debt by comparison in 82, and I thought that was frighteningly high at the time.
Paul Caron at Tax Prof Blog notes an article from National Jurist that law school faculties are 40% larger than just a decade ago:
The average law school increased its faculty size by 40% over the past 10 years, according to a study by The National Jurist to be released in late March. This increase in staffing accounts for 48% of the tuition increase from 1998 to 2008, the study shows. Tuition increased by 74% at private schools and 102% at public institutions from 1998 to 2008. …
Well we all know who gets to pay for all those extra law profs don’t we? The comments to the article are scathing:
“I have a son who despite nearly hysterical objections from me took on $150,000 in debt to gt a JD. (“What do you know, Dad?”)
He is working, but who knows for how long. The law school that helped put him so much in debt was Northeastern. The administration of that school never acknowledged any moral responsibility for assisting an immature young man to get so deeply into debt. When I talked to Dean Emily Spieler and said she had to take in fewer students or lower tuition, she said, more less, “But I’d have to lay off administrators to do that.”
In other words, “Protecting youngsters might cost our institution something, so it’s out of the question.”
My anger about this is intense. Some day someone will write a play about this kind of situation. I envision a very angry Al Pacino or someone playing the father enraged that his child has been led astray and into a lifetime of debt by self-centered law school administration vacuosities.”
“Hyperinflation. That’s the answer to everything that ails us: high consumer debt, student loan debt, the national debt, the real estate crash, how to “fix” social security and entitlements (“hey you old greedy lazy socialist bastards, here’s you $10 a month in 2005 dollars, just like we promised!”).
I never thought, when I reached thirty, I’d never thought I’d be watching the collapse of the American socio-economic-political system. Let alone cheering for it to happen.” Read the rest of this entry »
Blogs seem to attract more than their fair share of lawyers, law students and people who want to be lawyers. As a 27 year veteran of the bar, pro bono publico, I am giving my top ten reasons why people should consider not going to law school. Read the rest of this entry »