Posts Tagged ‘recession’

Even Spain’s Lawyers Can’t Find Jobs

Ok, so we heard about Britain and America and the oversaturation of the legal industry. I’ve even read about American law firms merging  with British ones resulting in the inevitable loss of jobs. India, well between outsourcing contract work and their oversaturation…oh and the Nigerian “lawyer’ who migrates to New York after taking a one year LLM and presto change-o-becomes a lawyer. But Spain? Ok the article is mostly about Spain’s poor economy and unemployment in general but of course, once again one cannot report about a country’s recession without mentioning “the unemployed lawyer”; this may become a new clinical diagnosis under DSMR-VI:

Many Spaniards lucky enough to have jobs these days are underemployed — law graduates working in restaurants, for example.

Here’s the article in full: Spain workers lose bridge holidays in debt crisis austerity move (01/22/2012)

So much for finding a job abroad. In the past year the media has discussed the problem with Greece and Italy. The European Union doesn’t want to bailout Greece until Greece shows it has a plan to get its country in order. The IMF says Italy isn’t doing so bad but is hesitant to loan its government money because its economy is not in the best of shape. So I’m sure we’ll see more about how their economies are affecting the legal industry there as well.

National Law Journal: Accountability and Transparency: Law schools are adapting to the shifting job market

Buyer Beware

This news article Law schools are adapting to the shifting job market (01/24/2012) posted by the National Law Journal discusses the reality of  lawgraduates unemployment, the change in the legal industry and wow, accountability and transparency. The horns and sirens have sounded long enough where the ABA and US News and World Report actually have to tell the truth. The remaining issue, whether federal oversight-the Department of Education will regulate it providing substantive accountability rather than a new way for these accrediting and ranking entities to formulate a new form of ‘smoke and mirrors.’ You may enjoy this part of the article:

The ABA, NALP and U.S. News — under much criticism themselves — have been working to increase, clarify and standardize the employment information they collect from law schools. Within a few short months, the ABA’s most recent changes will be fully in place.

One of the benefits of the new standards is that “employed” graduates will be further classified within subcategories. The ABA and U.S. News no longer will consider both the grad working at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and the grad working at Starbucks as merely “employed.” Additional breakdowns will funnel them into categories that indicate how many are employed in full-time vs. part-time, professional vs. non-professional, long-term vs. short-term and school-funded positions, and in jobs for which the J.D. provides an advantage.

Lol, let’s see how they would justify tuition once and if these changes are implemented. Buyer beware.

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

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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.

Breaking News (02/03/2012): Law grads go to Court for Bankruptcy Protection

See MSNBC article posted today: Law Grads Go to Court for Bankruptcy Protection. You can tell she was a recent graduate most people

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know that Sallie Mae lobbied Congress in the 1990s to stop allowing student loans from being discharged in bankruptcy. They have the whole legal industry–in their hands…♫ Because Sallie Mae would suffer undue hardship if student loans were discharged. It’s a tax write-off, they won’t lose anything. An indebted, unemployed, graduate, well you being unable to feed yourself, just does not fit within the purview of being important to the federal courts or financial institution. Good day…

My favorite line: “If you did not go to a top 40 law school and finished in the top 25 percent of your class, you’re not going to get one of those jobs,” said Jordan Abshire, principal of attorney recruiting agency Lateral Link. Abshire said that since 2008, he has seen more attorneys with a few years of experience filing for bankruptcy, often carrying a new home mortgage on top of their student loans.

Despite what CNN says the economy is not getting better, especially for law graduates. Another warning to the would be 0L, basically for you to earn enough money to live decently AND be able to pay back your student loans you have to go to a top school. I’m not sure why they said top 40, it’s really Top 10 and even those people are doing contract work. Further buried in the article:

The debt load on students is made worse by the shrinking legal job market. Since January 1, 2008, major law firms have laid off about 5,900 attorneys, according to the Lay-Off tracker at lawshucks.com, a blog that tracks law firm hiring. That is about 5 percent of all attorneys at the 250 largest law firms, according to the National Jaw Journal. (The U.S. Department of Labor does not collect job data on attorneys specifically.)

The truth shall set you free, if you are an 0L it will prevent you from economic slavery.

For Those Considering Law School

Don't Drink the Kool-Aid

It has been a while since I posted, I’ve been busy trying to survive amidst the steadily decreasing opportunities for lawyers and the mocking economy. Nevertheless, there are still some who are sounding the “don’t go to law school” horn, including those who have much to gain by increased student enrollment.

A couple of years ago, a self-described ‘unconventional’ IVY League Journal-Harvard Unbound published a comment written by an assistant professor of a law school entitled: For Those Considering Law School (2010)

The author reiterates starry-eyed 0Ls who desire to make a difference and explains alot of jobs that would help people in the legal industry does not require a law degree and you’ll make about what a secretary makes $35,000-$45,000. The only difference, you’ll be saddled with immeasurable debt and a lifelong grudgery of how to pay it off. My note, how does one maintain the desire to help others when one is unable to feed or shelter oneself.

For people of color, it is noted even in media that when the economy isn’t “bad,” how it is usually worse for minorities. So, when whites with the same degree you have and sometimes IVY League are unable to find a job, what chance do you have to find meaningful employment, where your talents and mind are respected in mainstream companies. Before the recession, minorities discussed how they are sometimes discriminated against. Just imagine now, with debt hovering over you and certain institutionalized systems in place that will also discriminate against you in housing….

Anyway, my favorite point in the dean’s comment: “There is no point in investing three years of your life into a school experience and then having a job you hate, so consider this strongly before going.”

CONCLUSION: Don’t think twice before going to law school. Just don’t go.

Too Many Lawyers Not Enough Jobs: New York Edition

The statistics cannot be ignored, slow economy, too many lawyers not enough jobs = Do Not Attend law school. We warned you and now more than ever main stream media is catching up. Because it’s so obvious and so overwhelming. Where before, say five or more years ago, one had an excuse, no knowledge of deceptive statistics, false encouragement of upward mobility, the higher education will make your life better. The Wall Street Journal is telling you there aren’t enough jobs for attorneys and they’re just referring to the NEWLY minted law graduates; not those who have been laid off or otherwise terminated, from the high ranking partnerships to the staff attorney who find that there is no resources awaiting them in the legal industry.So add that to the 9,000 new law school graduates in New York alone. Here you go:

New York Times Report Show Lawyer Surplus Law Jobs Shortage, Lawcrossing Finds 29,000 Attorney Jobs

Pasadena, CA — (SBWIRE) — 06/29/2011
The New York Times is reporting that the tough job market for new lawyers is partly a result of a lawyer glut in the law jobs market.

The article is based on data gathered and analyzed by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc. (EMSI), a consulting firm specializing in economic analysis and employment data. The figures gathered by EMSI in fact show that the law schools are graduating more JDs than the economy can absorb for the next few years.

EMSI has taken as its baseline the number of people passing the bar in every state and DC in 2009. The numbers were then put up against the number of estimated job openings for lawyers in those states for the period 2010-15. In every state except Wisconsin and Nebraska, plus DC, there was a lawyer surplus.

The biggest surplus was in New York. 9,787 people passed the bar in 2009 for an estimated 2,100 openings for the period 2010-15. Nationwide, there were only 26,239 job openings for lawyers, while 53,508 people passed the bar. California was in second page with almost 3,000 lawyers in surplus.

Even Nebraska and Wisconsin just have negligible surpluses of law jobs for lawyers. But even though attorney jobs for new lawyers are scare, they exist in most states. LawCrossing is a job aggregator site for all types of legal jobs. The site has been able to locate over 5,500 attorney jobs in New York alone. Nationwide it has located over 29,000 attorney jobs.

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.

Welcome to the Collapse

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The news article is entitled:

Welcome to the Collapse, January 3, 2011

A bleak summary of different lives of normal people in chaotic and overpriced New York. Of course you can’t have a story about the economy without referring to an unemployed lawyer right?:

The spinmeisters are playing the same record over and over, recovery, recovery, scratch, scratch, recovery’s in da house!….

Weird, such candor from the VOA. Maybe their CIA check bounced? In any case, let’s meet some denizens of Philadelphia’s the Gallery, my local shopping center. Mrs. Fischel runs a meat and cheese shop. Business has steadily declined over several years now. To make matters worse, management has raised her rent, to make up for other merchants who have closed shops or who are behind in their payments. The third level of this mall is completely dead, and the second is barely hanging on. Just this week, Payless Shoes as well as G&G, Unica and Sunshine Blues, all clothing stores, have gone belly up.

Fischel’s son, a recent graduate of law school, has moved back home from Orange County. He has no job, only mushrooming debts from student loans and credit cards. He loved California and never expected to live in Philly again. It used to be that once you moved out, you stayed out. It was an American rite of passage. By 2006, however, two-thirds of American college graduates were already returning to their parents. Now, the number is up to 85 percent[….] skipped section

Meet Mr. Ali, who runs a modest kiosk offering cheap purses, belts and watches made in China. He used to sell Gucci and Coach labels — not the bags, just the labels — which were tacked or sewn onto knockoffs by the customers themselves. Many of our poorest are infatuated with brand names. With a CK, say, slapped onto their person, they feel instantly higher class.

An immigrant from Pakistan, Ali’s first job was at a Seven Eleven, before he saved enough to buy a gas station. With his current business, it was no big deal to sell $1,500 daily. Now, he’s lucky to gross $500. Whenever this mall’s open, Ali’s in there. All he does is work. Even if there were 12 inches of snow on the ground, Ali would be there at 9AM, waiting for his first customer.

When he had savings, Ali made the fatal mistake of investing in Fannie Mae and Citigroup, among other supposedly blue chip stocks. Like millions of others worldwide, he lost his shirt. A hundred-and-forty-six thousand dollars gone. Ali sold his home and his new truck, hired a lawyer to consolidate his credit card debts. He now drives an unheated lemon. “In a couple of years, I’ll buy another house for my wife and children,” he insists even as his earning nosedives. He’s lost money the last two Christmases[….] skipped section

Back to Giuliani: he inherited his house, so Giuliani doesn’t have to worry about a mortgage, but thanks to the housing bubble, his property tax has ballooned. For sentimental reasons, Giuliani doesn’t want to sell his childhood home, but he may have to. With 10 rooms, the heating bill is enormous, and there won’t be too many buyers lining up.

The Gallery is a hub for commuter and subway trains. This design brings in more customers, sure, but the labyrinthine concourses also provide a haven for many homeless people. Dazed, they wander among shoppers, to be shooed away by guys like Giuliani. Dozing in wheelchairs, collapsing in corners or picking through trashcans, these resilient men and women seem oddly unaware that the recovery is in full swing, and that even dogs, according to our cynical media, got expensive toys this holiday.

The collapse will not be televised. Ignored and alone, each of us will experience it singly. As blemish and accusation, you will be photoshopped from the American Dream group portrait. The lower you slip, the more invisible you will become. The disconnect between what’s real and what’s broadcast will become even more obscene by the day.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a just released novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, State of the Union.

Well here’s the good news; should you not land that dream job after law school, or any law-related job for that matter, especially if you’re a few years out you can always be a poster-child of why you should not go to law school. Just think when you share your heart-wrenching experience of inexplicable debt and mounting sorry you will be paid nothing. Even news writers get paid from your misery

Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy: Predatory Student Loan Lenders, Middle Class Hope for Upward Mobility, the Legal Industry and the Inevitable Bubble

As some potential law students continue to await LSAT scores, law school admissions or are wondering whether or not going to law school will give them that one chance at a better life, it would benefit you to read the following:

Being led to the slaughter

A law journal article: 20 Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy 67 (2010)
Options for Student Loan Borrowers: A Derivatives-Based Proposal to Protect Students and Control Debt Fueled Inflation in the Higher Education Market, Michael C. Macchiarola; Arun Abraham

O.k. so this article is 72 pages, obviously I won’t delve into the entire piece but I am placing some introductory quotes in which the author is direct with failing legal industry and how the student loan industry are basically predators. He specifically discusses law schools and new lawyers are a bad investment. the author is a ‘distinguished lecturer.’ The author is a law professor and is honest enough to basically state that going to law school isn’t worth it. Do you 0Ls get it? one of your potential professors is telling you that LAW SCHOOL IS A BAD INVESTMENT!

Here are the Table of Contents for a very brief overview:
INTRODUCTION                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I. THE RUNAWAY COSTS OF AMERICAN LEGAL EDUCATION
By the Numbers
The Causes: A Combustible Mix of Accreditation,Rankings, Peculiar Incentives and Federal Encouragement
A Brief History of the Law School and Its Accreditation
The Rankings Game
The Peculiar Incentives of the Law School Faculty
The Federal Government and the Student Loan Market
The Scope of Government Involvement
Crisis in the Market and the Emergence of SAFRA
Income-Based Repayment and More of the Same
“For-Profit” Schools and a Way Forward

THE DISAPPOINTING REVENUE PICTURE FOR LAW SCHOOL GRADUATES
INFORMATION ASYMMETRIES AND ENTERPRISE LIABILITY
Informational Asymmetries Abound
Applying Lessons from Enterprise Liability Theory

Now for some introductory quotes:
Runaway tuitions and the burdensome student debt required for most Americans to obtain a post-secondary degree are under scrutiny like never before.4 Evidence is beginning to mount that, for too many students, debt-financed education represents a stifling encumbrance instead of the great investment that society’s collective commonsense has long advanced.5 Such a finding is unsurprising in light of the fact that, for too long, the value of education has been reflexively embraced without adequate examination of its cost. (p. 69-70)

As most bloggers have been stating, the cost is not worth the proposed benefit with all of the practical variables: economy, shrinking industry, inflation, lower salaries, loan payments and their capitalized interest as well as the time and psychological warfare this field demands.

The cost of attending law school, for example, has increased at two to three times the rate of inflation over the last three decades.11 The promise of accessible loans has made loan eligible middle- and lower-income students an easy mark for unabashed, aggressive student-loan marketing.12 “The end result,” in fact, “has been an unprecedented, debt-fueled wealth transfer from students of modest means to the increasingly prosperous higher education industry and opportunistic student loan lenders.” (p. 71-72)

Now deemed “McLaw” this along with LPOs and general outsourcing has set the middle class population in a cycle of perpetual financial slavery. Upward mobility is not founded in usurious personal debt. Do not think of the titles. Do not think of prestige. Think of your life and happiness and with any common sense you will decide not to attend law school.

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.”

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