Thursday, June 12, 2008

Toilet Law Schools Popping Up Everywhere!


"I am a reporter from the Associated Press. I'm working on a piece about the accreditation of a bunch of new law schools by the ABA, and want to at least pose the question if this is really a good idea given the current lawyer surplus. I'm hoping to ask you a couple questions about contract lawyering, your blog, response, etc. Perhaps you could also suggest one or two other contract attorneys you know who might be willing to chat about their experiences -- and have an opinion about whether or not there a real ready too many law schools.

If you're amenable, please let me know how I can reach you."


How do you guys feel about this issue? What do you want to tell the world about the explosion of toilet law schools?

67 comments:

Anonymous said...

3 proposed for NY. 2 just came on-line in North Carolina. God knows how many more are coming in Cali and Fl.

Anonymous said...

Law schools are viewed as cash cows for their sponsoring institutions. They open law schools with little regard to the market in which the law school resides, but rather the ability of the law school to fill seats and get young people to mortgage their futures in exchange for the antiquated dream of "being a lawyer".

What many experience is a nightmare of crippling debt, stressful low paying jobs and long periods of unemployment and depression. Typically only the very top of the class at these "toilet" law schools are able to get decent jobs.

With the advent of offsoring and the explosion of law schools (not to mention the flood of foreign born lawyers) many are forced to do unstable contract work or open a solo practice. There will soon be more law offices than fast food outlets in most towns.

Many lawyers are struggling already, burdened with debt over $100,000 from law school. It seems to many of us that the flood of new lawyers need to be curtailed, rather than encouraged. To this end so called "toilet" law schools should be shuttered, not opened.

The system is clearly broken and needs reform.

Anonymous said...

wow, you pretty much wrote the article.

Anonymous said...

5:20 said it better than most.

Anonymous said...

My email to the NY Senator who is providing "seed" money for new private NYS law schools:

"In these tough economic times, I strongly disagree with using state taxpayer money to provide "seed" money for private law schools. I am a young lawyer and can tell you from first hand experience that the entry level lawyer job market is glutted beyond belief. Despite how the media and ABA may try to portray us, most young lawyers today are actually buried under mortgage size debt and are struggling to survive in low paying small firm positions. I urge you to use this money instead to provide tax rebates to the people of New York who are being crushed by skyrocketing local property taxes."

Anonymous said...

what does TTT stand for?

Anonymous said...

T14 = the top 14 law schools, according to the US News rankings. It is thought significant because the same 14 schools have been in the top 14 for many years, dating back to the 80's I believe.

TTT: Slang term -"Third Tier Toilet". Refers to third and fourth tier law schools (as determined by US news), and serves as a general insult aimed at law schools that people may just not like (Boalt, NW, Michigan seem to be popular non "TTT" targets). Some people expand the term "TTT" to include tier 2/lower tier 1 schools.

Anonymous said...

more law schools..... oh please...

i think i am going to get sick...

Anonymous said...

I'd be willing to talk to him/her, but I'd want to be anonymous. Even though I've been looking for a real job since law school several years ago, I'd rather not have my real name plastered everywhere and destroy the (admittedly slim) chance of finding one. I'd also rather not be spammed to death but posting my contact info publicly.

If you want to let us know how to contact the reporter . . .

- Bittersweet

Anonymous said...

What's up with the pic to this article? An elephant with a naked golden girl and a fire? What does this have to do with law schools. NY should close Hostra, Touro and CUNY law schools. The schools are terrible and the graduates are ignoramuses.

Anonymous said...

As far as the new law schools in North Carolina are concerned, the state actually has one of the lowest lawyer per capita ratios in the country. Additionally, Charlotte was the largest city in the US without a law school. So it was felt there was a need. It will take a few years for them to be fully accredited so we don't know where they will rank yet. As far as those elitists who feel there are only 14 law schools that should be allowed to exist, you are being terribly unfair in calling these schools "toilets".

Anonymous said...

Let me guess 1:35, you have a stake in the new law school? No matter what you say, there is absolutely no need for a six law schools in NC.

By my count there are currently 5 (and will be considered superior to your new diploma mill that will be cranking hundreds of students into a glutted market. These students will be largely crippled by debt and have no decent shot at paying off their loans in a reasonable manner. Thousands of students will realize that law school was a huge mistake for them...

Duke, UNC, Wake Forest, Campbell and Central are all currently enrolling students and dumping students out onto the market.

Do you really think that there is a need for another law school in North Carolina?

The answer is clearly no. The law school will be opened for irrational reasons such as "
Charlotte doesn't have a law school". Is there a lawyer shortage in Charlotte? If there is, I know about 20,000 New Yorkers ready to move down tomorrow for a job.

As far as the rank, your new school will in the 3rd or 4th tier, hence the Third Tier Toilet or TTT designation. Welcome to the wonderful world of legal education.

Good luck with your law school.

Anonymous said...

One law school down...The state of Maine has rejected the application of a proposed new law school.

http://www.lawschool.com/hussonrejected.htm

Anonymous said...

No 1:49 I do not have a stake in the law school. I live in Charlotte and am interested in what goes on here. It was the support of the legal community in Charlotte that allowed the school to progress as far as it has. Elon in Greensboro was also granted provisional approval too. If you know anything about the geography of the state, the other law schools are about 2 hours away from Charlotte. That is not convenient if you do not want to or can't leave Charlotte. Plus both new schools offer part time which allows people to keep working and perhaps receive tuition reimbursement from their employers. Why fault people who want to be attorneys, but circumstances did not allow them to go right out of college into Yale, Harvard, and Stanford. I don't hear the same vehemence against business schools which can be just as costly and are available online.

People from New York are already coming in droves, I'm sure if they have been in practice for more than a few years they can be admitted to the NC bar without an exam.

Anonymous said...

Suck a dilznik 12:02. There are Hofstra grads in the top 50 law firms in NYC. Not to mention that Hofstra has one of the best and longest running clinical programs in NY as well. Students that come out of any one of those clinical programs can hit the ground running and actually know how to practice law, not just legal theory. By the time I graduated Hofstra, I had made 20 court appearances, made extensive oral argument, and wrote 3 real motions. More law schools need intensive clinical programs. Too many students come out of law school now and don't even know how to properly file a civil complaint or do a criminal bail application.

Anonymous said...

HofsTTTra, NYLS, TTTouro, SeTTTon Hall, BLS, STTT. John's and Carbozo should all be closed.

CUNY should remain in order to provide a low cost, public alternative to the TTT's.

At that point there would be enough lawyers coming out to fill the needs of the legal community. Many graduates from out of state and around the world arrive in NYC every year, so there will never a shortage of attorneys.

Of course these schools will never close and end the cushy teaching and admin jobs at these institutions. But these schools are useless and provide only to reduce the salaries of the average lawyer and create massive pools of temporary workers. Most of the temp work is heading to India anyway, time to close these diploma mills.

Law school is scam and a waste of time and money for most people.

Anonymous said...

Where the hell did you go to law school that you feel you can make fun of Cardozo, St. Johns, and Hofstra?

Anonymous said...

If you view the article as law schools being cash cows you will be on the correct path. Unlike other professional programs (DDS, MD, DO, DC, PharmD), a JD requires no heavy cash outlay for clinical programs. The expensive 3d and 4th year clinical programs keep most schools from opening MD programs. The heaviest expenditure for a law school is the law library. Further, other professional programs restrict enrollment to 60 to 90 students with no P/T programs. In contract, look at law school 300 student classes and P/T, online, Day, Evening programs etc... All in all,the market is saturated and the law schools don't care.

People see Lawyers on TV and think "Reality." But the truth is that after practicing for 5 years, I only make 40K with 70 hour work weeks. I drive a second hand car and price matters with each purchase. I can't see getting Married or anthing like that with an unstable occupation and $80K debt load.

Anonymous said...

6:05 By making a cheap ad hominem attack with internet slang, you reveal your complete lack of an ability to form a coherent argument. Both Touro, Hofstra and CUNY are well below the New York state bar passage rate. http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=17923

Anonymous said...

I can only assume you mean ad hominem attacks like this BS gem:

"NY should close Hostra, Touro and CUNY law schools. The schools are terrible and the graduates are ignoramuses."

You hypocritical douche. If you are going to be a blatant hypocrit, at least don't leave evidence of it lying around and readily quotable.

Anonymous said...

2:42 Sorry, you failed to even respond to the fact that your law school's bar passage rate is below average. Given the oversupply of law schools in the NYC area, some schools will have to be shut down. The truth hurts but your school is one of them. Check out what some of your students are up to. http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2008/04/09/2008-04-09_mom_defends_hofstra_student_accused_of_s.html

Anonymous said...

Ok, allow me to respond: Hofstra has a below average bar pass rate but those that do pass and go through a clinical program are often well prepared for real world practice and go on to find good jobs. It's irrelevant if a lower ranked school has a higher passage rate because many of those people will just wind up admitted but unemployed.

Anyone who's struggled in the temp field knows that merely passing the bar is not a ticket to success; it aint all it's cracked up to be.

Anonymous said...

It is true there is not a need for more law schools, given the state of the market.

However, if an institution wants to open one, and the ABA wants to accredit---what's the problem? If you don't like what they're offering in exchange for you're money, then simply don't go! No one is forcing law school upon you. You make a decision to exchange your money for a seat in a classroom, and as intelligent adults, you should be responsible enough to know if you're getting ripped off or not.

Anonymous said...

When's the last time we ever heard of a medical school opening? Surely there's a need for more doctors, but med schools are expensive. Law schools are cheap for the host institutions.

Anonymous said...

I have heard the perfect information argument before. Even Suze Orman has mentioned that it is not so. Frequently, people speak of BLS inflating exit class figures.
If the "they knew what they were getting into" argument is to work, then perfect information must be feed to the student. FOr example: The career services and financial aid Office must sit down with each student and say the following
1) this will be your debt load when you graduate.
2) this will be your monthly payment the first month after you graduate.
3) this is the employment stats for our grads and other local schools for the past five years. 4) this represents what you could be making.
5)Questions!
6)Take a day then and get back to the school if you want to do this.
This may sound ludicrous. After all Law students are supposed to be "smart." But most Law students see TV Lawyers as Reality or read top of the class stats as Everyone. They need a shock!

Anonymous said...

10:48 are you stating the Hofstra, in spite of its lousy bar passage produces better lawyers?

This is a retarded argument.

Second, you are also implying that Hofstra has better job placement than it's better ranked competition.

No wonder people are enraged, the statistics are being constantly fudged and misrepresented by these law school apologists and flim flam men.

Bertha said...

Toilet Law Schools produce a lot of Toilet Lawyers. The profession is cheapened by all the lawyer ads on TV screaming at me to call them about some perceived injustice done to me that I didn't know about, usually a problem with a drug.

It just harkens back to the semi-justified belief that lawyers stir up shit for their own benefit.

LD Trotsky said...

Maybe toilet lawyers from toilet law schools night just sue themselves for misrepresenting themselves and their profession.

Anonymous said...

10:25:

Did you just use the word "retarded" to describe what you consider to be fallacious logic?

Hmmm...I'm not sure if it's the over-saturation of the legal market that is keeping you from getting a job.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I am fascinated to have found this website!
I need a lawyer for two jobs. One, to give me advice while building a house and, two, to write me up a family trust.
I have avoided even looking for one because I know it will cost me $$$.
The last time I hired a lawyer was for him to do a simple job for me (meet with a judge to get a document that contained a mistake verified as a correct document). It took the lawyer 5 minutes with the judge and cost me $600.
Please please let me know how I can hire a lawyer for a decent amount of money (like, say, $50 and hour.)

Anonymous said...

Shove your fascination up your ass and get the f*ck off this site. This site is not for your amusement or an opportunity for you to get a bargain. Go to Craig's List assh*le.

Anonymous said...

TTT grads have their role to play, too, often as ADAs, public defenders, zoning boards, and serving in other frontline legal grunt work jobs.

Entrepreneurial and savvy TTT grads can make money like everybody else and Big Law is not for everybody, not even for all T14 grads.

The fact is that the profession has inadequate or nonexistent ways of measuring quality performance. What is "retarded" is a profession that makes hiring decisions based only on academic performance and not on real-world performance.

Bootstrap and rationalize all you want, but most CEOs and CFOs of large client companies did not all go to elite colleges and universities. They got ahead in the business world through successful job performance. And oftentimes they have an understanding of business law that exceeds that of their attorneys.

Anonymous said...

True enough, law is extremely status driven and few people have what it takes to "work their way up" if they don't have stellar grades and/or graduate from a top law school. What it really means ulimately, that most of this work can be performed by virtually anyone, so the firms need to show off their pedigree to clients.

Sure, there are complex areas of law that require highly educated and specialized attorneys, but the bulk of what most attorneys do is not that esoteric. It's just rote digital paper pushing. Hence the move to offshore much of the routine legal work is well underway and saving corporations money, to the detriment of stateside attorneys.

Henry said...

Lawyers who are reputable don't work for $50 an hour, because of overhead costs, legal malpractice insurance, and court fees.

Your lawyer may have charged you that much because he had to pay your court fees--or he may have risked having to have spent far more time on it.

Go find a surgeon who works for $50/hour and see how that goes.

Anonymous said...

@ 7:57AM

"However, if an institution wants to open one, and the ABA wants to accredit---what's the problem?"

The problem is that it becaomes a burden on the rest of society. When organic growth in the market comes to a halt, lawyers attempt to "open up new markets" by applying novel perspectives banal situations. E.g. in NH a TTT grad is suing salons for charging men and women different prices for haircuts. In the long run it provides nothing but needless complications for the productive sectors.

No other profession can unilaterally f**k up society like that. There may eventually be an excess of MBAs, MAs and MDs on the market, but they will always remain the sole vitims of their own incompetence until someone is willing to pay for their services. Meanwhile a lawyer can suck up tax payer dollars by deciding on his own to sue his dry-cleaner.

The whole things is made even worse when you stop and think about what a piss-poor understanding most law students have of the real world. If they understood it, they sure as hell wouldn't have gone to law school in the first place.

Anonymous said...

@ 9:16
Suze Orrman is a motivational speaker and a financial planner, not an economist. If a business wants to avail itself to public money at, say $15.00/share it has to submit 150 pages of data on its finances, accounting, marketing, personel, legal counsel, sales, etc. All of this must be audited by a 3rd party and approved by the SEC... 4 times a year. Why? because there is risk in capuital markets

If a law school wants to avail itself to $100,000 of an individuals money it doesn't have to provide jack squat. It's a riskier investment than stock b/c an increasing number of student never see a return on that investment, while for others you have to project 2 decade ahead to see a positive net present value.

So which is it? The perfect information argument is BS and Sarbanse-Oxley should be repealed? Or should law schools be held to the same standards that their graduates are meant to uphold?

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the losers who don't have jobs. I mean "losers" in that they are left behind in an arbitrary way, no "ad hominem" my legalistics!

The same thing is true in higher education--go read "invisible adjunct." The only difference is licensure--the ABA will use that to measure "supply/demand" more.

As much as you trash each other's programs, do you feel for those who don't pass the bar in the same way you do for those who have low-wage jobs. Because pretty soon, a lot more people will fail, and many more law schools will look like TTTs.

Anonymous said...

"Go find a surgeon who works for $50/hour and see how that goes."

I ghost wrote about 25 motions submitted at the state level and 5 at the federal level. The attorney looked at the paper only to sign it. Most of them were succesful. I was paid $15/hour to do this. Then I dropped out of law school, premtively and went on to something else. There is no way that the work I--a probable LS flunky--did was anywhere near as complicated as the work of a surgeon. No way whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

We are talking about attorney rates not some crap that a law school dropout wrote. If you went on to something else what the hell are you doing on this site? Another fraud!

Anonymous said...

A lot of people (like me) are looking at this site because of the article on MSN or Time online, whichever it is. You should check it out.

You guys are doing well to publicize the problem. Hopefully, people will not go to law school so starry-eyed in the future. One idea that I think many people will have is the people from this website are the ones that thought if they can just graduate, JUST PASS THE BAR, they can be taken care of forever, live the life, you know. The law students I knew in graduate school were the worst potheads I've ever known. They thought they were going to strike it rich based soley on passing the bar. I can see them turn into complainers like those on this webpage. Not thay you guys are potheads, but I'm trying to understand why you stay in the job you have if you hate it and it doesn't pay your loans quickly enough.

Why do unsure piece work? I stayed in an adjunct situation (with a part-time service job also) for just one year before I went to get certified to teach high-school--a real job. You guys need to do something similar. GO! NOW! You are getting kicked around because you allow it. Get another job, even if you only use the skils you learned instead of your law degree and the fact you passed the bar.

I know the market is the reason that you are disappointed, but your problem is not specific to law school issues. Just about every person I know has these issues when they graduate college no matter what the degree. It's part of leaving school (be it high-school where you seem so talented to everyone, or college, or grad school or law school where you are still being sheltered from the real world).

You're grown up. Deal with it.

Anonymous said...

"Go find a surgeon who works for $50/hour and see how that goes."

My husband is a brilliant engineer and he gets paid $50 an hour, I am not sure why lawyers are so special they should earn more.
I paid the court fees in addition to his $600 fee.

Brian said...

The guy who said this is so right:

"By the time I graduated Hofstra, I had made 20 court appearances, made extensive oral argument, and wrote 3 real motions. More law schools need intensive clinical programs. Too many students come out of law school now and don't even know how to properly file a civil complaint or do a criminal bail application."

What sucks is that firms don't give a damn. I went to one of the only law schools that requires clinic to graduate and I won honors for top of my section. I negotiated a nice insurance settlement for a lady where no attorney in town would take her case, I got a homeless guy out of his IRS taxes, did an adoption from application to approval hearing, and tried a case where I made the 6-person jury hate the landlord so much they awarded less than half of the clear damages against the tenant. And I did this all in my second year. Yet, I couldn't get a job because of my "low" 3.26 GPA and I wasn't in law review. The so-called top firms hired the theoretical soldiers and couldn't given a damn about my real success. Now, after a few years and a few beatdowns, those same firms who wouldn't talk to me try to steal me from the only place that gave me a shot. I just laug at them now as I beat them into the ground while their wonderful former law review editors can't create a disputed issue of fact precluding summary judgment.

Anonymous said...

How can an attorney earn $40K per year working over 70 hours per week?

I am a solo attorney (becuase I couldn't find a job -- yep, bottom of my class at a third tier law school). I charge $200 per hour (which is low for my market) and I work about two to three hours per day (usually from my house, as I don't like to go to the office), for five days a week (usually). If you do the math, you will see that I earn about $100K a year. I could easily double this by working more hours if I chose to do so (maybe I will opt to do this some day, but not for now).

I am nothing special. Not even close. I just don't see how an attorney can earn $40K a year. They must be working 30 minutes a day or or charging their clients $5 hour or somehting!

Anonymous said...

Wow. $200 an hour for an attorney that doesn't even know how to spell something? Where do you practice, fantasy land?

Anonymous said...

@9:16pm

Because I need to remind myself that dropping out was the best decision of my life. This blog was picked up by the AP, so there will be alot of non-attorneys passing through here, you dope.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:25

You have to bear in mind that lawyers are innumerate and phenomenally stupid with money. Grammer school arithmatic will show you that most of thes guys make far less than $50 per hour spent in the office. They charge $300 to press Ctrl+F on an document request not because the work is hard, but because they can't manage cash flows.

Maxine Weiss said...

I keep thinking the idea of building more prisons and jails, rather than schools isn't so bad.

Anonymous said...

In many cases, attorneys who do document review and contract work do so by choice.

The reality is that finding clients who are willing to pay an attorney is pretty darn easy. Any attorney can walk into any tear-in-my-beer bar and pick up three or four divorces, criminal, and/or bankruptcy matters. Any attorney can walk into a seminar on financial planning or insurance and pick up three or four estate planning clients. The same goes for business start-up groups for business fomation and contracts and real estate seminars for real estate transactions.

Is it glamorous work? No. Does it pay well? Yes. It pays much better than document review or contract work.

Business cards, a cell phone, and some gumption are all an attorney really needs to make a very good living on their own.

But that is the key, very few attorneys are willng to step out of their comfort zones to go about being on their own. So they complain about how the legal profession won't let them in. That is nonsense. These attorneys need to quit complaining and go pick up some clients and start working.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Joan King!

Anonymous said...

12:51 AM



"Grammer school arithmatic"

Anonymous said...

9:02AM

Thanks for correcting the error--you're good for something. Now get your ass over there and proofread that contract, you piece of shit.

You don't have ventilation because nobody gives a fuck. If you smell piss it is because someone pissed on the floor. Why would we pay your minimum wage to someone else to clean it up.

Anonymous said...

10:36 I totally agree. This is the problem with temp attorneys. Many of them make over $100,000 a year and have no skill set. Ask a typical temp about his or her job and they'll tell they just look for the buzzwords and a lawyer's name or lawfirm's name. They then click Not Responsive, Responsive or Privileged. That's the sum of their whole job. The rest of the time they play on the internet. Do they bring in clients? No. Do they even remember the FRCP, let alone know how to use it? No. Do they know how to research and write federal court quality motion papers? No. Do they know how to take a federal deposition? No. Do they know to evaluate a case for trial or settlement? No. Do they know how to settle a case? No. Do they know to try a case or argue an appeal? No. Contract attorney know very little. They are a necessary evil -- necessary to shift through piles of junk to find the few responsive and/or privileged docs. Too many contract attorneys confuse being necessary with being important. A sanitation worker is necessary for civilization but the sanitation worker isn't dumb to think that he or she is important.

Anonymous said...

2:43, stop referencing back to yourself. We know you are 10:36.

Anonymous said...

3:51 Ever try working for a living instead of blogging all day? Who do think you are -- Perez Hilton?

Anonymous said...

I know that this is a sensitive topic, but I think most attorneys can sympathize with not being able to find a job and, at the same time, having law school debt.

With that said, I do think that attorneys who do document review and who are career contract attorneys are doing themselves a great disservice.

These jobs are not permanent solutions. They can be used to fund a law practice.

I couldn't find a law job out of law school either, so I took a job as a financial planner. I did that for two years (it started at $40K a year, by the second year it paid $70K). I could have let this get me down -- but I didn't.

I looked at this as an opportunity. I studied estate planning for the entire two years. I copied all of the estate planning documents that my clients had me review. I got to know every estate planning attorney, insurance guy, broker, real estate agent, etc. in my area.

At the two year mark, I had enough saved up to live off of for a year, a full set of estate planning forms to use, an excellent grasp on what clients wanted and what they would pay, a full client base who were glad to hire me, and a big network for referrals.

I never touched my emergency fund. I have my own practice. I enjoy my job. I make good money.

My best friend has a similar story. He was doing contract work (while living on my couch). He started taking juvenile delinquency and status cases that the courts assiged to him. There wasn't a single attorney in town that was taking these cases as they only pay something like $150 a pop, so he took them all.

Then he signed up with the county and district courts to handle the probation revocation hearings. These paid something like $300 a pop and there were only a few attorneys that wanted to do this kind of work.

This kept him going long enough so that he could study criminal law, attend enough criminal trials by other attorneys, and read enough of their pleadings so that he could reproduce them. He now has a great criminal law practice.

Being a solo attorney is operating a small business. It has its benefits and its drawbacks. One of the best parts is that there is such a low barier to entry, as the start up costs are very minimal (for most areas of the law).

For those without jobs, hang in there and find a way to solve a problem. Once you have a grasp on that client problem, go out and get some cleints. Then start figuring out how to solve another client problem. You will have a full book of business before you know it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the inspirational testimonials. Yawn! I would rather click for a living than deal with old people and juvenile delinquents. How about that Anita!

Anonymous said...

10:15

Click for a living. Nobody cares, just please quit whining about it.

Anonymous said...

You need to read a little more carefully 10:15. There was no whining. I was simply stating a preference. A lot of people in the temp world do not want to practice law for whatever reason and clicking on documents is a better alternative for them. Going to law school was a fall back position and they soon realized they didn't want to practice so they started temping. I appreciate that others do want to practice and feel like they are stuck in temp hell because of being in debt. If you are motivated to do something else besides clicking I am sure that most people could come up with something else. If doc review ended tomorrow, I don't think that we would all end up on the street. Temping like anything else has its downside, but when you can pull in over 100k a year it's not so bad.
Now let's get back to making fun of Anita.

Anonymous said...

6:53, it is whining, pure and simple.

Also, I whole heartedly disagree with this statement "clicking on documents is a better alternative for them." This is a nice fantasy that someone might concoct if they needed to lie to themselves.

A job that requires no thought and develops no skills is not in anyone's long term interest. I can only imagine the whining on this blog when computers are able to do the document review without human supervision (which we all can probably all agree, is not too far off).

I also take issue with referring to third or fourth tier law schools toilet schools. I look back fondly on my third tier school, as I got the best legal education that I could have received anywhere and it was reasonably priced. My student loans only cost me about $300 per month (for a loan of $60,000) and I easily earn $15,000 per month (If the interest rate weren't so low, I would write a check to pay the loan off today). My pay before law school was only about $4,000 per month. Without attending my third tier law school, I would still be earning that small paycheck.

The economics of law school is that the investment will easily pay for itself many times over in the course of a lifetime for nearly every law student. It is still one of the best investments that can be made. It is easy to overlook the fact that a legal career (or any other career that is enhanced by having a law degree, whether directly or indirectly) occurs over a lifetime. Measuring it by the pay earned in the first year is nonsense.

Besides, there are no such things as a temporary attorney. There are only attorneys and non-attorneys. If an attorney feels that they have to designate themselves as a temporary attorney, then they really fall within the latter category and they should not be trying to share insights to a profession to which they do not belong.

Anonymous said...

If an attorney applied to my firm using the title "temporary attorney" and we found out that they were just doing document review, I bet we would refer them to the state bar for discipline. Using the term attorney conotes that the person is acting in the capacity as an attorney. Someone doing document review is not acting in the capacity of an attorney even if they happen to have a JD/law license. People doing document review might be able to use the term "temporary legal staff" or "temporary legal support," but not attorney.

Anonymous said...

11:11

But if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, has the appropriate degree of a duck, is barred like a duck--everything but getting a real job--you call it "temporary ducklike staff."

"Quack, Quack, Quack. I want a real job. The floor stinks. There's not enough windows. My coworker stinks. Why does that Chinese partner get to come down here and get whichever temporary slut he wants while all I do is click away for peanuts. Shouldn't I be a partner in a big firm by now, I graduated last May!"

Anonymous said...

11:11pm: I had no idea that your firm, in-house at McDonald's, had such high standards. Live and learn I guess! I sure don't want to be reported to the bar after a law firm bills me out at attorney rates for reviewing documents.
I bet part of your compensation at McDonald's includes free, unlimited fries.

Anonymous said...

I think the AP article attracted some people to this site who just want to make fun of us. Saying, "Get a job." and calling us losers. Sounds like my mom. If I can just click enough, I can move out of her house.

Anonymous said...

This problem of lawyer overproduction is not unique to law school and in today's economy where jobs (including knowledge-based college-education-requiring jobs) are being outsourced overseas or filled by foreigners on H-1B or L-1 visas it is prevalent in many fields. The real problem is that our economy is no longer generating or providing solid middle class jobs for the majority of the populace which is why people are flooding into the colleges. Since a Bachelors degree is no longer sufficient, people are flooding into the graduate and professional schools in the hopes of getting a leg up on the competition.

Regardless of how much education people in mass obtain, the overall needs of the job market will remain the same. One of the issues we need to address in these regards is whether it makes sense to allow people to go to college and graduate school, spending tremendous amounts of time and money, for non-existent job positions.

I agree with the general sentiment of people on this blog--we have far too many law schools. A couple years ago I summed up the number of people who had law licenses (based on ABA stats) and then calculated how many attorneys we would have at the then current rate of about 40,000 new attorneys per year. Assuming a career of 40 years, the market would need to be able to support 1.6 million attorneys but based on the ABA licensure stats the nation only had about 750,000 attorneys.

I applaud the reporter for writing the article (which introduced me to this site) and hope that we will see more reporting in the future and that some brave politicians will step up to the plate and try to reign in the massive amount of economic waste and heartache that our society is suffering as a result of overproducing college graduates.

Anonymous said...

All you starving solos are full of shit: 99.999999% of solos make less than $100,000 after business expenses and taxes.

You have high overhead and solo practice clients can't afford big legal bills because they're shit clients feeding you garbage work.

The only exception is if you're in a super-narrow niche doing biglaw work for rich clients.

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Anonymous said...

Stop comparing a lawyer to a surgeon! Doctors have to study much harder and have expertise in science and math. That is why they paid good salaries. There is not one single math or science course in law school. You can enter law school with a basic liberal arts degree in just about anything. And even a bachelor's degree in engineering is more challenging than law school. So its odd that lawyers think they should earn lots of money for what they do.