Posts Tagged ‘new lawyers’

New York Law School: Bad GPA? How about Another Semester on the House.

Education Loan Payments Once You Graduate

 Since law school administrators know that their current form of providing a legal education is inadequate to prepare graduating law students for the real world of law practice and to pass the bar exam, they found a new way to fudge their numbers. Since more mainstream media and law school scam blogs have brought attention for reform with law school employment statistics and student debt, one law school is offering some students one more semester to not deal with the hovering reality that will crash upon them once they graduate. The article mentions it focused on those “at risk” upon graduation, would one dare say you knew they were “at risk” when you offered them admission/enrolled them into your law program. Overexpanding your annual enrollment class to keep whatever financial aid from the federal government into you ‘institution of higher education?’ Read the following article of what New York Law School is now planning to do in order to skew the numbers:

Bad GPA? How about Another Semester on the House (02/06/2012)

One free semester after a full 3-year matriculation will likely change nothing. Whatever it takes to keep the numbers right, future student loan debt rolling into the schools and crashing on the law graduate.

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Center for American Progress Report Entitled: What Can We Learn From Law School?

All Rights Reserved

For those considering law school, this is a good read, a summary report entitled: What Can We Learn From Law School (click title for pdf) December 2011 by the Center for American Progress. I highlighted some quotes:“This report explores the field of legal education with the hope that putting a magnifying glass to this small part of higher education will help us better understand the problems that face all colleges. (see sidebar) It details the steady rise in law school enrollment, despite high tuition rates and a heavy reliance on student loan debt. And it describes the unpleasant surprise that awaits law students upon graduation: Though a few lucky grads will make more than $130,000 per year, most new lawyers can expect annual salaries of around $63,000. With monthly loan payments near $1,000, graduates are finding that membership in the legal profession is not the golden ticket they thought it would be.”

 p. 7: The high demand for legal education is somewhat surprising given its hefty price tag.  It’s difficult to locate the cause of this steep rise in tuition. Though some have claimed that stringent accreditation requirements drive price, a 2009 GAO study showed that this assumption is incorrect.

So not only student enrollment screening has become more lax, so has ABA accreditation.

p. 9 On the whole, this low default rate does not seem like a big deal. But for the individuals who fall into the default category, it can have devastating effects. Federal student loans are not dischargeable through bankruptcy.

That University of Maryland student that filed for bankruptcy should have had access to this report before going to federal court.

p.13: Though the return on investment in law school has been in question for young graduates since at least 2008 and possibly even earlier, this news was not widely reported until recently. This may be due, in part, to the fact that statistics about the legal profession as a whole mask the circumstances that young lawyers face. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on the legal profession show that the growth in law jobs slowed over the past several years. In other words, law schools are able to admit large classes, maintain the same educational model, and continue to push tuition higher because students still turn out in droves for a chance to be in their entering classes.

Basically, as long as the 0L public continues to buy into it, the law schools will continue to rope you in. You have the power to stop this madness, stop buying into the law school degree can open so many doors and you can do anything with a JD. It is obviously not true. These people are laughing in your faces at this point. You are now willingly and openly proceeding towards a known danger.

To ensure students, colleges, and policymakers react to the forces that are changing the value of college degrees, the following policy changes should be implemented:

• The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, should collect and publish average employment and salary data for recent entrants into an occupation. Would provide 0Ls reality of the legal market and what they’re getting into.

• The BLS should work in conjunction with the Department of Education to make this information available to prospective students. So 0Ls/general public are not duped by misleading and in some cases blatantly false statistics provided directly on the law schools’ websites who have obvious financial interest to skew data and currently no repurcussions to ensure accurate information.

• Accreditors in all sectors of higher education should create standard definitions for employment and salary statistics, and require member schools to make such information readily available to students. Accreditors should audit member schools’ adherence with these standards from time to time. Audit, compliance then the federal government can fine them, and they would lose money they hold so dear.

 The beginning of the report appeared to be slanted by providing the reader with the impression that although the legal industry is shrinking/worsening and the value of the JD degree is decreasing the legal education sector only accounts for a small amount of those enrolled in graduate degree programs. However, this report doesn’t provide any statistics to support that.  It is a good read for general summary which hints to the reader that law school, especially at this point of America’s development and economy is not a good investment, no matter how you play with the numbers.

Guys! Keep it Up: Law School Enrollment Decreases (via Associated Press)

Law School Enrollment in Missouri Lags as legal jobs dry up

July 3, 2011

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Last Updated: July 03, 2011 – 2:55 pm

Time is the answer. Initially viewed as disgruntled scam bloggers, these posts have given laymen and 0Ls insight to the disheartening new reality of the legal industry. At least people in Missouri get it. Now only we wait for the impact to reach the heavily saturated areas likeWashingtonDCmetro,New York,PennsylvaniaandCalifornia. Interesting how the article makes reference to the one law graduate probably willing to expose his dire situation in that state with “at least it’s something.” Keep telling yourself that. We’ll see. In the meantime let your eyes enjoy the following:

ST. LOUIS—Missouri law schools expect fewer students in the fall after several years of significant enrollment growth both regionally and nationally.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported this week that theUniversityofMissouri’s flagship campus inColumbiahas received 17 percent fewer applications this year. Applications atWashingtonUniversitydropped 13.3 percent, whileSt. LouisUniversityis seeing a nearly 20 percent decline.

A national group that tracks law school enrollment says that applications are down more than 10 percent overall compared to this time last year.

The economic downturn means that law school graduates can no longer count on landing lucrative jobs straight out of college. The declining interest comes one year after many schools reported record enrollment.

“The stories about the legal market have certainly dampened some people’s enthusiasm,” said Paul Pless, assistant dean for admissions and financial aid at theUniversityofIllinoisat Urbana-Champaign College of Law. Applications atIllinoisare down nearly 8 percent so far this year.

Melissa Hamilton, 35, is a recentUniversityofMissourilaw school graduate still looking for a job. She’s applied for a few government positions but is waiting until she passes the bar exam before making a stronger push. She’s also looking into jobs where she could also use her master’s degree in social work.

“I’ve known for the past year it would be hard to find a job,”Hamiltonsaid. “It’s making me open my search up to things I wouldn’t have considered. I kind of have to get creative.”

Area schools say that the declining interest hasn’t translated into a lower overall quality of applicant, at least as measured by test scores.

Local legal observers even offer a positive spin on the drop — they say it may help the profession by weeding out students who lack a passion for law.

“That’s not a bad thing, that people are thinking about it on the front end,” said Lawrence Dessem, dean ofMissouri’s law school. “I have a sense it may lead to more satisfied lawyers down the line.”

Mary Ann Clifford, assistant dean for admissions atWashingtonUniversity, suggested that an influx of first-year law students coming straight from their undergraduate experiences helped account for last year’s surge. With fewer jobs overall, students who otherwise would work a few years before applying to law school instead went immediately into graduate school.

Law firms are also adjusting to the new economic reality. Some have developed nonpartner track positions with lower ceilings in terms of pay, benefits and prestige. More are relying on contract attorneys, a higher-paying version of the temp worker. And customers are demanding great efficiencies from the firms they employ.

“Obviously, law firms serve clients. As those clients go through economic struggles, you see a change in demand for legal services,” said Dan Nelson, partner and hiring chairman for Armstrong Teasdale inSt. Louis.

Not all area graduates are struggling to find work. Ty Harden, 33, is a recentMissourigraduate who was offered the first job he interviewed for, a position with a small civil litigation firm inSpringfield.

He figures that one advantage he had over some of his still-unemployed classmates was a willingness to consider jobs, regardless of where they might be situated.

“It’s probably a matter of flexibility,” Harden said.

Los Angeles Times: California unemployment rate holds steady at 12.5% (and attorneys are feeling it)

California unemployment rate holds steady at 12.5%

The economy may be leveling off, although job prospects in professional fields still appear bleak.

LABOR

March 27, 2010|By Marc Lifsher

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/27/business/la-fi-cal-jobs27-2010mar27

Quote from a newspaper article: ” Though small, the professional sector — which includes lawyers, accountants, architects and economists — has been pummeled by the recession, more than in any other recent downturn.”

Did we really need a newspaper article to tell us this? Either you or a family member is living through this, though this article is specific to California. I will say this, as California’s current 12+% unemployment is one of the highest, and black unemployment across the sectors (including professionals) is at 15%, means California is not a good place for a minority to seek new opportunities or advance their careers.

Anyway, I find it interesting that most of the media outlets tend to focus on new graduates, new graduates gripe about competing against those with a decade of experience but no one seems to pay attention to those in between. You know the ones who aren’t elderly, have less than 15 years of experience but aren’t new to the meat market. These are the ones who have a harder time playing catch up because they are ALREADY expected to have gain some experience regardless of the market, tier of law school they attended or just facing the harsh reality of the legal industry.

“The latest recession differs from downturns in the early 1980s and 1990s because it “hits across sectors and across occupations,” said employment lawyer Michael Bernick at Sedgwick Detert Moran & Arnold in San Francisco. Then the article gets embolden by stating that the job market is improving as the economy does, how is this so when this is considered a “jobless recovery.” Logic please.

Here it is: “I don’t know of any law firm that is hiring people who don’t bring new business with them,” said Bernick, a former state employment agency director.” So the person likely to have a “book” of business that will advance a current firm’s portfolio are those with 20 years experience. Not those still building or attempting to gain any experience, this we already know, yet people STILL are attending law school in droves.

Prospects are even tougher for newly minted lawyers, said Darry Sragow, managing partner at Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal in Los Angeles. “We don’t hire people straight out of school,” he said.” Ahh the focus on new attorneys, what about the rest of us? It’s either poor newbie or poor IVY Leaguer. ‘All I want to say is that they don’t really care about us.’