Posts Tagged ‘no guarantee’

Did I Read This Correctly?: ABA Telling College Students NOT To Go To Law School…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       ABA Telling Law Students Not to Go To Law School (01/2012)according to Outside the Beltway the ABA issued this Statement last month. Interesting points:   

*According to the association, over the past 25 years law school tuition has consistently risen two times faster than inflation. Keep going…

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*The ABA is also warning of endowment losses, declining state support, and difficulties in fundraising that have hit law schools hard. It expects most public schools to raise tuition this year by 10 to 25 percent. Oh you were doing so well. I hardly believe law schools are “hard-up” despite law school scam warnings some law schools actually saw an increase in enrollment between 2008-2009. Or with tighter scrutiny law schools are being accountable for quality of accepted students and class size. I seriously doubt it’s for the reason the ABA claims.

To conclude: “Tens of thousands of dollars in debt — and a shiny degree: But, at the end of the day, getting a job in law could be a cold case in 2011.” Translation: Having a law degree is a dead end for your career. Enjoy.

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US News & World Reports: (Law School) Know What You’re Getting Into

US News & World Reports
Ann Levine
November 22, 2010

I am proud to be a lawyer and I am proud to help other people reach their dream of becoming a lawyer. [sounds desparate to sell the profession]. However, there have been numerous stories recently that may discourage you from applying to law school. There are negative and disgruntled law students and attorneys warning you about the evils of law schools, of the profession, and of anyone remotely related to it. My goal is to make sure you don’t join that disgruntled bunch. [Which can simply be prevented by not attending law school]

So, if you decide to go to law school, you need to feel that the benefits outweigh the sacrifices and potential drawbacks that many of the naysayers routinely harp on. Go into it with your eyes wide open, ready to work hard, ready to make your way and create your own career. [Sounds like a tort in the beginning you are proceeding into a known danger and that it’s forseeable that you will have damages]. You won’t expect anyone to hand you a six figure job at graduation.

[This is such a misleading characterization, that most attorneys EXPECT six figures. No most attorneys expect after committing and investing time, money, effort and basically their life into achieving admittance into a noble profession that one can obtain a job in which one can have DECENT housing, food and transportation. The only graduates who really expect six figures upon graduation are those set for the patent bar, trust fund babies, IVY League graduates with connections.]

You will go into this with an understanding of the realities of the profession. You will know that success does not happen overnight, that your dream job isn’t the first job out of law school, but the one you hold ten years down the road. [false misrepresentation, how in the world can such a writer state this with a ‘straight face’ without submitting statistics or even state based on people he or she knows. It appears the author writes in theory or the same rhetoric that continues to be told to unsuspecting 0Ls.]
There is no fast track to success in law school or in anything else in life. The key is to make the best decisions you can about your future with the information you currently have at your disposal.

I want you to really consider whether to go to law school, and I want to share the questions you should be asking before you go. Plus, I want to make sure you are equipped to make good decisions about where to attend.

Let’s start here: Reasons NOT to Go to Law School:

1. Money (How much does law school cost and how can I pay for it?)

2. Time (three years full-time, 4 years part-time)

3. Bad career outlook in current economic environment

4. It’s difficult

5. It’s competitive

6. There are too many lawyers

It appears that 1, 3, 5, 6 are all related to NOT being able to get a job or make decent money with a law degree. Decent refers to enough money to sustain you and your family (whatever that may be) with food, gas, heat, electricity, housing and transportation. Four out of the six reality checks are stating that you cannot live a normal life with a law degree. So those of you who are already making $50,000-$75,000 without a law degree; you are in a much better position than most licensed American attorneys. So, does it make ANY sense to encumber your life with unnecessary debt to be in a profession with superficial professionalism, mentally disabled persons who many have broken down after realizing the reality of what going to law school has done to them, all while struggling to meet your monthly financial obligations and reaching for straws to keep a facade of upward mobility. Reason with yourself and don’t ignore the signs.

Points 2 and 4 are related to losing valuable years of your life to spend hours, days, weeks studying to impress law professors who already made their decisions of who each student is, where they will fall in the mandatory curve within the first week of classes, all the while subjecting students to the Socratic method with the intent of satisfying a power-trip. Now all professors are like this but most are. Your first year you do not select your law professors and many have tenure, so good luck in being treated fairly while learning about the law–ironic isn’t it?

Now, the Reasons TO Attend Law School:

1. Learning how to think

2. Profession you can always rely upon/Job security

3. Helping others/contributing to the community

4. Being important and respected

5. Financial security, prosperity

Points 2 and 5 do not make any sense in light of the previous set of points. Although most professions and both the private and public sector is suffering due to the current economy, the legal profession has forever changed. There is no such thing as financial security in general when there is a permanent oversaturation of law graduates and attorneys. Due to this saturation how can point 4 be valid? Value is based on quality and rarity. Many media outlets have exposed how unprepared most law graduates are and have been over the past few decades. When lawyers are a dime a dozen, how are you important? Though theoretically an attorney is to advocate, be a defender of the Constitution, etc, most attorneys are either focused on keeping their financial security which inevitably compromises the value of the services and as a result the profession. Additionally, when there is not a demand for a product or service, the price steadily decreases (oversaturation).

You need to do your research about each one of these pros and cons. How much can you expect to make in the area of law you plan on pursuing? What would your student loan payment be? Your rent? Your car payment? Etc.

So, how can you research this? Talk to lawyers in big firms, lawyers who work for the public defender, lawyers who work in a firm with only two or three attorneys, or insurance defense attorneys. Ask them how much they made in their first five years of practice and how much they made after ten years. Ask them what they really do all day. Ask them to describe a typical case they are working on. [A simple approach is to read these blogs. The following two questions are good suggestions though:]

Ask them what time they get to the office everyday and what time they leave. Ask them if they like their jobs.
Ask them where they went to law school. Did they take a scholarship to a lower ranked school? Why or why not?

Do top law schools open some doors? Do you want to clerk for the Supreme Court? Be a law professor? I suggest you look up people who have jobs you would like to have one day and see where they went to law school.

It’s essential you have a firm grasp on what the profession entails before you commit. Comparing and contrasting the answers to these questions with your expectations is key to helping you make your decision.

If you’ve gone through this thought process and you still decide to attend law school, you will know what you are getting yourself into. You will be in a position to make good decisions about your future. And then you’ll be ready to hear this podcast: How to Get Hired as a Rookie Attorney.

In other words you will definitely be “proceeding into a known danger.”

Law School Tuition: USA Today Article: Investing won’t get you to law school; saving will

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June 21, 2010 USA Today: Investing won’t get you to law school; saving will – USATODAY.com. The author providing the advice is very frank, even if you INVESTED the $2500, there’s no reasonable way that the return on the stock investment will cover the costs of attending law schools. A gamble won’t cover a different gamble! Here’s the piece:

Q: What can I invest in that will turn my $2,500 savings into enough to pay for law school? A: We are often told that the stock market can richly reward patient investors. And that is true. But what you’re asking goes beyond what can be reasonably expected. You mean that the average person starting law school cannot afford to pay for it by investing or saving whatever money they have? Doesn’t that just force them into Sallie Mae’s prickly embrace? Oh, they just can decide NOT to go as an option as well.

Let me explain. You’re probably hoping I’ll rattle off a few amazing stocks that will rocket in value to turn your $2,500 into law school money. The odds of picking a couple of stocks that will do that are tiny.

Let’s first consider how much money you’ll need. The median tuition for one year of law school in 2008 was $16,836, according to the American Bar Association. And tuition has been rising about 9% a year.

That means if you enrolled in 2010, the price of the first year of law school would likely be $20,003. And that’s just the first year three. Your total tab would be somewhere around $65,572.

So, you’re hoping to turn $2,500 into $65,572. Let’s assume you’d want to have this happen in two years. For this incredible increase in wealth to occur, you would need a stock that rises 2,522%, or 412% on average for two straight years.

The reality: Stocks, on average, return about 10% a year. And lately, stocks haven’t even been doing that. Stocks aren’t the only thing not returning an investment.

If there were any stocks that could generate the kind of return you are looking for, they would come with such gut-wrenching risk you could also completely decimate your original $2,500 investment in the process. Like attending law school in the first place.

Don’t just take my word for it. Parallel comment: just read the blogs.

Over the past two years, not a single stock in the Standard & Poor’s 1500 index, which includes stocks of all sizes, rose 2,500% or more, according to Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ. In fact, not a single stock rose more than 2,000%. Over the past ten years law school tuition rose, while law graduates unemployment increased, so the actual product decreased in intrinsic value though it is still being sold based on its tradition and prestige.

To be more precise, the best-performing stock rose less than 400% the past two years. So even if you picked the best stock in the S&P 1500 universe, not an easy feat, your $2,500 would have been worth $12,500, a far cry from what you need to pay for law school.   Parallel comment: Not all law schools are the same, should you even choose to attend the best, what you invest will still not get you to the goal of being employed and paying off those student loans.

What’s the moral of this story? Don’t look to the stock market to pay for your law school, especially when you’re starting with $2,500. You’ll need to invest, yes, but more important, you’ll need to save more, and consider grants, scholarships and other financial aid. [emphasis mine].People are willing to do any thing for a chance to attend law school, instead this financial advisor states that the only way the writer will be able to afford to attend law school is through financial aid=student loans=Sallie Mae; who is not as benevolent as she sounds.

Smart investing can accomplish great things, but what you’re looking for goes beyond what an investor could hope for in his or her wildest dreams. In other words, it’s neither wise to invest in a bad stock market or that other type of investment “law school.”

Third Recent News Article: Law graduates, economy and job market

This is related to the previous post on Life’s Mockery: Another News Article: “Law Degree Can’t Guarantee Law Firm Offer” . Just a couple of days ago Crain Business Journal posted:

Law grads’ job prospects ebb with economy – Crain’s Cleveland Business . “As 2010 law school graduates are framing their diplomas and are preparing to enter the working world, the profession is reporting that employment rates for the class of 2009 were the lowest in more than a decade.” The low employment rate didn’t happen over night, other factors contributed to the steady decline of the legal industry. Those in certain positions knew this but not only continued enrolling law students, but increased the number of law students matriculating at their institution. You knew, 0Ls likely didn’t but agents of the industry did.

“The employment rate last year was the lowest since 1996. In addition, the employment numbers include an increase in the number of graduates engaged in part-time and short-term work, as well as more grads taking jobs at the schools they had attended.” And you still are posting on various boards and blogs which law school you’re considering attending. A wise man or woman learn from the mistakes of others.

“Jennifer Blaga, director of career planning at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University, said the employment rate for her class of 201 students in 2009 was 84.8%, though she cautioned that not all students report whether they have found jobs.” I’ll repeat what I wrote in that other post: If I went around and asked 10 people I knew were employed and they all said yes I can easily offer that out of the people I surveyed, 100% were employed, which by no means reflect the actual legal industry and broader economy.”

“Ms. Blaga said Cleveland State law graduates are better off than some because they often are looking for jobs at smaller firms, many of which did not face the same challenges that large law firms have over the past three years, when new hires often were deferred for several months and attorneys were laid off.” Smaller firms which also start off at a lower salary for attorney positions not likely to increase earning potential nor maintain a decent standard of living.

“While the 2009 NALP Employment Report and Salary Survey noted that an increasing number of law schools were boosting their employment figures by offering graduates positions at their alma maters, Ms. Blaga — herself a Cleveland-Marshall graduate, albeit in 1994 — said that is not the case at Cleveland State. In 2009, 1.2% of graduates had jobs in academia; 55.6% entered private practice, with slightly more than half of those graduates working in firms with two to 10 attorneys.” They’re on the defensive thanks to Nando at Third Tier Reality and see  Exposing The Law School Scam: A closer look at the employment stats for the 2009 law school class They know people are dissecting the statistics they proffer.

“At the 192 law schools that responded to the NALP survey, academic employment rose to 3.5% in 2009 from 2.3% in 2008. Talking about plumping a turkey so the masses can devour. These temporary, revolving positions helped law schools report exaggerated employment statistics for the new hapless crop to be harvested in next three years, but look:
“James Leipold, NALP’s executive director, said the academic hires were one piece of the “underlying weakness” the employment figures hid. More than 40% of the law schools reported that they provided jobs for graduates on campus and, including judicial clerkships, nearly 25% of all jobs for graduates were temporary.” Now that’s some honesty.

“Added Ms. Weinzierl: “Employers are realizing lawyers have a lot of skills others may not have. They’re more open to considering those who have a legal background.” You’re kidding me right? Please explain why most lawyers have noted that having a J.D. is a detriment to finding working outside the legal field and with professors and seasoned practicioners admitting that law graduates are entering the legal workforce with little to no practical skills, thus unprepared to meet the needs of firms and clients. Oh, do explain.

Another News Article: “Law Degree Can’t Guarantee Law Firm Offer”

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*ABSOLUTELY NOT*

O.k., I posted an article published by a Lansing Michigan newspaper dated May 31, 2010 entitled 

Law degree no guarantee for jobs | lansingstatejournal.com | Lansing State Journal at this Life’s Mockery post on the same date: https://lifesmockery.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=609&action=edit

A more recent article  dated June 6, 2010: Law degree can’t guarantee job offer | The Columbus Dispatch, the sentiment is echoed.

“A few years ago, a law degree was practically a ticket to a comfortable life. The recession has changed that for most new graduates.” Interesting, so the author implies that merely a few years ago MOST new graduates would’ve had a comfortable life except for this recession thing that ‘messed everything up.’ Really? We must survey those graduates who were pre 2007/2008 and see how many were actually practicing the law, full-time, able to live based on that salary and meet their student loan obligations then one can assess what was considered a comfortable life.

This naive guy says the following: ““I have no problem paying my dues,” Kay said. “The problem is, I can’t even get a job at the bottom.” When a person pays dues, he or she in return is negotiating some form of benefit, the mere fact that this guy is unable to make it as a bottom feeder in the American economy should alert the reader there was a switch and bait, “gotcha” game played.

The article becomes a little more honest: “The National Association for Law Placement released a survey last month showing an overall employment rate of 89 percent for 2009 graduates for whom status was known. That’s 3 percentage points below 2007’s historic high and the lowest rate since the mid-1990s. The group noted that the new number reflects increases in temporary and part-time employment.” [emphasis mine]

Meaning out of the thousands of alumni of the various law schools throughout the country that actually partook of the survey (could’ve been 50 or a 1,000) 89% were employed. If I went around and asked 10 people I knew were employed and they all said yes I can easily offer that out of the people I surveyed, 100% were employed, which by no means reflect the actual legal industry and broader economy.

“In good times, top law students were almost guaranteed good jobs based on first-year grades and their experience as summer associates.” Some of us didn’t know this game either, many first years’ would have saved tens of thousands of dollars in debt had they just quietly banished themselves from the law school game.

We can say, this is good that the curtain is being slightly lifted, but proceed with caution, note how the article makes it appear that this change in the legal industry just happened and it’s all due to the recession. The article doesn’t discuss the MASSIVE shift in the business aspect of practicing law nor does it mention the proliferation of law graduates in the past 10 or 12 years, yep it’s some extraordinary feat that only the economy is responsible for. Let us not forget cause and effect…this change in the legal industry was not by happenstance people.

The final advice that these blogs have been trying to inculcate in your head is summarized here: ”

Niels Schaumann, vice dean for faculty at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minn., said: “The more urgent question is: What do you tell people who are thinking about going to law school?

“I don’t recommend it to people looking to make a lot of money. If you’re not interested in helping people in some way or providing service to your clients, it’s not for you.” [emphasis mine]

O.k., that was some honesty…but what could’ve been a little more accurate is: “I don’t recommend it to people looking to make a decent living or survive off an average lawyer’s salary.” There, that about does it.

The Legal Industry: Media attention to the “Law Degree No Guarantee for Job”

Did someone just awaken from a stupor after eating the apple from the nice old lady? First it was Georgetown law students with NPR with their confessionals of dismal employment outlooks upon graduation, now Michigan State University law dean admits it. The interesting question is why are they admitting it only when it’s time for the harvest of the next crop of graduates to hit the job market? It was getting bad during their 1Ls wasn’t it? Anyway here’s the article stint entitled:

Law degree no guarantee for jobs, fresh off the online presses-May 31, 2010 [http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/article/20100531/NEWS03/5310316/Law-degree-no-guarantee-for-jobs] It’s not an intellectually stimulating piece, just a short reminder of what most of these blogs have been telling people, the job market for lawyers is awful and there is no real hope of it improving and you will most likely be working outside of the legal field unless you’re volunteering or doing document review: “According to research conducted by the Association for Legal Career Professionals, all measures of employment growth for new lawyers in 2009 decreased.” I’m not sure whether this statement means measures of whether a recent law graduate entered into the legal field with a secured job upon graduation, specifically whether it was at a law firm, public interest or government, or measuring the actually salary of law graduates or a combination of these factors plus others. Just to assume that the just mentioned variables were calculated, the legal industry is abismal, yet law schools are graduating more and more lawyers into this field? !

It next reads: “In 2008, only 89.9 percent of lawyers coming into the field found employment, which was a decrease from a high of 91.9 percent in 2007, said Judith Collins, research director for the association.” This is the power of words, because ONLY 89.9% found employment? I let you navigate to Exposing the Law School Scam and Third Tier Reality for the mathematical calculations regarding statistics published by NALP, AALS and whoever else. This simply cannot be. Between what the federal government and even more of the mainstream media reports this cannot be accurate. Asides that out of this alleged percentage the article does not state whether these newly minted lawyers even found work in the legal industry. In other words, they may very well be working at a department store, fast food restaurant, manual labor, seasonal mall work, etc. I remember reading in one of the other blogs that some recent graduates are hired by the law school immediately just to heighten the appearance of their law graduate statistics! Simply amazing. Yet, yet…people want to go to law school, it’s like you’re saying with this now available information: “When I grow up I want to be unemployed, stressed, overburdened with debt and have postponed having a family or a real chance at have a good quality of life.” Anyway…it further states

“For instance, the Department of Homeland Security has been hiring law graduates to work in their offices reviewing documents, even though a law degree isn’t required.” You see now instead of the embarrassment and stigma of being a document reviewer in the private law firms, you have the opportunity to be a document reviewer for a government job, though no job title is provided in this piece. Isn’t it just wonderful? Oops wait a minute: “”These are students that are willing to start at the bottom of a rung in a non-attorney job…” Wow, even in the private sector you’re still dubbed an attorney even a contractual one, here you don’t even have that level of ‘prestige’, interesting. The rest is just putting the burden on the recent graduate with a good luck, we cannot help you, it’s all on you.