Monday, September 24, 2007

Wall Street Journal Cover Story: The Dark Side Of The Legal Job Market

"For graduates of elite law schools, prospects have never been better. But the majority of law-school graduates are suffering from long-term economic trends are suppressing pay and job growth. The result: Graduates who don’t score at the top of their class are struggling to find well-paying jobs to make payments on law-school debts that can top $100,000. Some are taking temporary contract work, reviewing documents for as little as $20 an hour, without benefits. And many are blaming their law schools for failing to warn them about the dark side of the job market.

That’s the subject of a page-one story in the Journal Monday. The story includes lots of data and real-life examples showing how life outside BigLaw has gotten tougher, and how some law schools are doing their best not to let the word out. The 2,300-word story even has a shout-out to the infamous Loyola 2L, who has been beating a drum of discontent about the legal market around the legal blogosphere.

The culprit appears to be, in part, a slack in demand: Growth in legal sector has lagged the broader economy since the late 1980s. At the same time, more lawyers are entering the work force with greater and greater amounts of debt, thanks to hefty tuition hikes. The story cites surveys and government data showing wage stagnation for lawyers across the nation.

The only employment data that many prospective law students see come from school-promoted surveys that provide a far-from-complete portrait of graduate experiences. For example, Tulane University (pictured) reports that its law-school graduates entering the job market in 2005 had a median salary of $135,000. But that is based on a survey that only 24% of that year’s graduates completed, and those who did so likely represent the cream of the class, a Tulane official conceded.

Some law-school academics are calling for the distribution of more-accurate employment information. “Prospective students need solid comparative data on employment outcomes, [but] very few law schools provide such data,” says Andrew Morriss, a law professor at the University of Illinois who has studied the market for new lawyers."


http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2007/09/24/the-dark-side-of-legal-job-market/

Article here - http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119040786780835602.html

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

YES!

Anonymous said...

It's wrong that law schools are mis-using the statistics of our horrific Quinn jobs to entice and fleece naive 21 year olds so that they can live cushy lifestyles.

Lawsuit, NOW!!!!

Anonymous said...

keep clicking the link leading to the article so it remains the number 1 story

Anonymous said...

Buyer beware. Students should be more prudent before plunking down 100k+ for an education. People need to do their own due dilligence, not just pick up a law school manual and make such an expensive decision on that one source alone.

Anonymous said...

Getting into law school, excluding the top 20 or 25 schools, is not too difficult. There should not be a sense of entitlement for a student to possess by simply enrolling in law school. If you seek employment after graduation, and you did not attend a top 20 school, then finish in the top third of your class (and that's barely making it). I have no sympathy for someone who complains about not getting a job who didn't put in the work. If you don't get good grades, you won't get a job. That's an elementary philosophy a prospective law student should be able to understand.

Anonymous said...

What you are failing to grasp is that many 2nd & 3rd tier law schools (like BLS) are fraudulently misrepresenting the employment statistics for students in the bottom 1/2 of the class.

These students are led to believe they will be making over $100,000 upon graduation, when in truth, only the top 5-15% will.

How can you effectively do due diligence before deciding to enter law school if the starting salary statistics that these law schools put out are false & misleading?

John Bungsolaphagus said...

And the winners of Tom The Temp/John Bungsolaphagus Pulitzer .....Amir Efrati and Scott Bullock!

My comments as posted in the WSJ comments section beneath the article:

I think that Amir Efrati should recieve the Tom The Temp/John Bungsolaphagus Pulitzer Prize for “investigative” journalism in exposing the pyramid scheme or “scam” that is the so-called “profession” of the “law” (and I use the terms in quotes extremely loosely) as it applies to those who were not in the top 14 law schools or top 10% of their toilet law school classes.

Efrati’s article is the atomic bomb that sends ripples of radioactive truth throughout American society and in the short time that it has been out is spreading like wildfire. Hopefully the truth will spread to the average American who is not involved in the legal profession.

I think that Scott Bullock (a.k.a. Seton Hall grad “Law Is 4 Losers”) should be given 72 virgins for his career suicidal move in outing himself and contributing as a source for the WSJ article. Perhaps he should also be named the patron saint of all law toileteers who shall protect them from the evils that lurk every where in “lawland” waiting to destroy many, if not most of the attorneys admitted to the bar between 2001 and the present.

God bless Amir Efrati, God bless Scott Bullock and may God bless all of America’s legal toileteers!

Comment by The John Bungsolaphagus - September 24, 2007 at 3:58 pm

Now legal koolaid drinkers and naysayers alike....discuss...

God Bless!

Anonymous said...

The thing that people have to ralize in this profession is that grades do not make good lawyers. I dont know how many times I have to say this. Some of the worst lawyers are your pinhead Harvard grads....no soical skills whatsoever, and will never have any courtroom persuasion. Some of the best attorneys are your mid level low grade people....why...because they were busting their hump working 2 jobs to put themselves thorugh law school....those are the people with heart,.....the ones who want this job......the ones who don't have daddy's silver spoon stuck in their mouths

Anonymous said...

"I have no sympathy for someone who complains about not getting a job who didn't put in the work. "

There are people who put in a lot of work and still don't get better than average grades. The curve at most law schools guarantees that some people will loose out, even if everyone performs fairly similarly on exams.

Anonymous said...

These schools are perpetuating fraud! The proof is right there in the on-line article. EVERYONE RIGHT AN E-MAIL TO YOUR STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL!

Anonymous said...

Well, now the word is finally out about the law school scam. I hope this dissuades people from racking up debt to attend toilet schools like Cooley and the rest. I personally know many T1 through T4 grads that are caught in the contract attorney treadmill and wish they had pursued a different career path, as the law has reached a dead end. These are all smart, motivated people, too.

What a waste of 3 years! Oh well, here's to hoping the next generation does not commit the same mistakes.

If no one applied to law school, paid tuition or sat through endless hours of mindless socratic method, then the schools would be force to shutter. Law schools need to wake up and begin serving their paying customers, the students.

Anonymous said...

Joan King is pathetic. Minimal? Half of my project is made up of BLS grads. Either that woman is so negligent that she doesn't know what her graduates are up to, or she is outright lying.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I think it is a serious national crime, fraud, rip off whatever you want to call it that this country produces way more lawyers than it needs. The sad matter is there is not enough information available to the public or people believe TV and ignore reality. There should be some "reality" shows about the legal reality.

Anonymous said...

Anyone in NJ who is jobless and wants to do something interesting should contact me. I own a real estate company that does short sales and other types of loss mitigation. You get to stick it to banks, the money is good (and, it's the banks who pay you!) and you can work your own hours.

It's not rocket science, as anyone with an IQ above 90 and three weeks to kill can get a NJ real estate license. However, it's fun in weird sort of "stick it to the man" way.

Chip Hughes, Hills & Valley Real Estate: (908) 334-2329 or chip.hughes@att.net