Posts Tagged ‘warning’

Bloomberg’s News Article, Death of the Legal Industry and its Obituary

Law school No Longer a Safe Safe Bet
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-22/when-law-is-no-longer-a-safe-bet.html
Bloomberg News

Although the article seems to mourn associates and their high salaries which the author recognizes is only a small percentage of actual attorneys, it gives the reader a backlash if you are a law graduate. It references how white collar employees who demeaned or look down upon blue collar workers in the 1950s who chose to forego higher education. This portion is distasteful as many law graduates who graduated before the 2008 economic collapse but in the late 1990s or later had nothing to do with 1950s social stigma as they were not even born and just emphasizes what I pointed out in the last point that no one cares what happens to attorneys as society has nearly always relegated practitioners as underhanded, spoiled, backstabbers and overpaid. The author basically gives a “middle finger” to attorneys and reflects why there is lack of support of reform from the accrediting agencies to those on Capitol Hill. The article did however discussed the legal industry as dead (yet more confirmation from mainstream media) and even wrote its obituary. A portion of the news article is displayed below:
_______________________________________________________

When I was contemplating becoming an English major, lo these many years ago, one helpful counselor told me that despite the stereotypes, English majors had lots of job opportunities. Advertising, public relations, academia. “And there’s always law school!” she said chirpily.
I didn’t end up going to law school; instead, after graduating, I embarked on a peripatetic odyssey of jobs and graduate school that culminated in my becoming a journalist. But I can imagine an alternative universe in which I did go to law school. Law school has long been the backup plan for humanities majors who don’t quite dare to apply for food stamps.
That era appears to be ending. Noam Scheiber writes the obituary:
“‘Stable’ is not the way anyone would describe a legal career today. In the past decade, twelve major firms with more than 1,000 partners between them have collapsed entirely. The surviving lawyers live in fear of suffering a similar fate, driving them to ever-more humiliating lengths to edge out rivals for business. ‘They were cold-calling,’ says the lawyer whose firm once turned down no-name clients. And the competition isn’t just external. Partners routinely make pitches behind the backs of colleagues with ties to a client. They hoard work for themselves even when it requires the expertise of a fellow partner. They seize credit for business that younger colleagues bring in.
“And then there are the indignities inflicted on new lawyers, known as associates. The odds are increasingly long that a recent law-school grad will find a job. Five years ago, during a recession, American law schools produced 43,600 graduates and 75 percent had positions as lawyers within nine months. Last year, the numbers were 46,500 and 64 percent. In addition to the emotional toll unemployment exacts, it is often financially ruinous. The average law student graduates $100,000 in debt.
“Meanwhile, those lucky enough to have a job are constantly reminded of their expendability. ‘I knew people who had month-to-month leases who were making $200,000 a year,’ says an associate who joined a New York firm in 2010. They are barred from meetings and conference calls to hold down a client’s bill, even pulled off of cases entirely. They regularly face mass layoffs. Many of the tasks they performed until five or ten years ago—like reviewing hundreds of pages of documents—are outsourced to a reserve army of contract attorneys, who toil away at one-third the pay. ‘All these people kept on going into this empty office,’ recalls a former associate at a Washington firm. ‘No one introduced them. They were on the floor wearing business suits. … It was extremely creepy.’ Still, any associate tempted to resent these scabs should consider the following: Legal software is rapidly replacing them, too.”

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$10,000 First Year Associate Salary-Boston

No,this is not a joke. The article begins with:

Say No to Law School
Protect Your Sanity and Your
Financial Future

By now, most people know a law degree hardly guarantees law school graduates will snag a good job, let alone a high-paying BigLaw position.

But it may be even tougher than you think to get a high-paying legal job just out of law school. Hiring law firms, if you thought you were low-balling new grads, think again. (Boston Business Journal 06/01/2012): Legal job market hits new low: BC Law lists job below minimum wage 

Yahoo’s version: (06/01/2012)  Attention Lawyers: Get Your … $10,000 a Year Salary: 

The beginning of the article states: Attention college students applying to law school: put down the LSAT prep book. You might want to consider another line of work.

How can this be legal, it reminds me of how waitresses are paid poorly on an hourly basis then make most of their money on commission, maybe this is the same scheme. For shame, BELOW MINIMUM WAGE. Sallie Mae, SLM, Access, Nelnet does not care: All they say is _________ , you better have my money with a financial, back-handed slap known as late charges, additional finance charges, interests and other ‘costs.’

This has been going on for decades. Mainstream media is just late to the party; I would dare say ‘fashionably late.’ The kind of oh I was going to get there, so when I (mainstream media) arrive I appear to expose this dying legal market.

Law Professor and Former Dean Writes Book Exposing the Law School Scam

This article The Bad News Law Schools – NYTimes.com (2/20/2012) describes what a former law school dean but still law professor has to say regarding law schools failings and the American Bar Association’s complicity in the legal industry crisis:

In fact, that news was itself not so new. Uneasiness about the state of legal education has been around for some time, but in the wake of the financial meltdown of 2008, uneasiness ripened into a conviction that something was terribly wrong as law school applications declined, thousands of lawyers lost their jobs, employers complained that law school graduates had not been trained to practice law, and law school graduates complained that they had been led into debt by false promises of employment and high salaries. And while all this was happening, law schools continued to raise tuition, take in more and more students, and construct elaborate new facilities.

Well, I think this sums it up.

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…

All Rights Reserved

*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.

The Law School Scam: More Law Schools Sued!

All Rights Reserved

I double-checked and did notice this news article Former Law Students Sue Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Others Over Grade (02/08/2012) reported law students who have sued two law schools. The law schools-Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law  appears to be separate from the other lawsuits against 12 law schools 12 Law Schools Sued Over Misleading Jobs Data (02/12/2012) sued for misleading students with skewed employment statistics and fudging their rankings.

These law students sued over the grading system. I will be the first to agree. Should you be the son or daughter of a local judge, know that your grade will automatically be above the middle or top.  Should you be a minority–good luck. Some of these professors will treat you like sh** more than the other law students and will abuse the socratic method to the point where you’re awaiting Strom Thurman to break out his overseer whip. Or arrange the pecking order a different way if you’re not only a person of color but a woman, another level of being a minority. The truth is it doesn’t matter how good you are. The bias exists one way or another, race, gender, personality  differences…. Do not think you have to know someone is for the getting a job only, it applies in law school as well. The law school classroom is their stage and you, dear student are the marionette.  Why put yourself through that abuse, while indebting yourself to a system that could care less that you live or die. Some of us did not know in advance what we would endure. But you do, it is your choice.

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.”

Conversation I Overheard at a Cafe: Lawyer vs. Mentee

The conversation was already in progress when I grabbed my seat. Pure entertainment. The 40+ year old guy is discussing career options to a young lady who I figure is in her first year of undergrad. Alot of her answers were wrought with I don’t knows and uncomfortable snickers and a reference to high school. The guy is boring her about when he trained bodybuilders and how it was his policy not to date the women he trained, but got an exception for one lady who he did not end up marrying. Apparently that lady relocated from whatever state she was from and ended up going to law school with him. This is such an inappropriate conversation to have with a barely legal adult–pervert. Then he brags that has a law degree from George Washington (GW) School of Law. Then I heard the words “when I used to practice law I enjoyed it.” “I appreciate my law degree though it has nothing to do with what I’m doing now.” Then asks her was she going to work and her wage. She makes $7.50 an hour working at Arby’s. Wait this non-degree holder makes only $2.50 less than most Census workers? The ‘mentor’ then tries to schmuck (verb usage) her into graduate school, telling her she will make 10x than what she makes now at Arby’s. Now mind you he already mentioned that he went to law school but isn’t using his degree, yet encourages her to get even more education. He bought into his own b.s. and was selling it to an uninformed consumer. Oh he then asks her whether she was familiar with twitter and good with [sic] social networks account and when  she is established maybe she can work in one of his workshops–no clue what he was refereing to. Wait, you’re her mentor but telling her to become succcessful with no real guidance so you can benefit from her education and probably rip-off her salary. Some mentor. A Latino waitress walks by and he decides to impress the mentee with his Spanish language skills. Then he says, I decided to speak Spanish to stress the importance to her of learning a foreign language. She seemed so clueless that I wanted to write all of these blogs on a piece of paper and slip it in her bag. He was a b.s. artist and not even a good one but anything would sound impressive to an unwitting 18 year old.

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.

James C. Strouse: Legal Education Malpractice: The Law School Education Scam

James C. Strouse: Legal Education Malpractice: The Law School Education Scam

P. 149.

 This text should be read by potential law students as well as law professors with the hope that until the legal industry changes to actually benefit the student, practice of law, pursuit of justice and not a method to promote economic servitude at the hands of the elite few, it’s obvious whether the average citizen with no connections, prior generation of elite education, extremely well financial situation, there is no need for additional attorneys to this field.

 “Although law school deans will surely challenge the notion of educational malpractice, that is exactly what law schools do.  The massive negligence committed by almost all law schools have dire consequences for the practicing bar and the American public.  It is analogous to allowing a surgeon to practice without supervision or training on actual patients,” taken from page 149.  O.k. it’s from the preview, I just discovered this book and haven’t read it.

 Wow, these words are taken directly from a Maryland lawyer who apparently graduated law school decades ago. What is interesting is that he is not akin to these older attorneys who tend to blame the younger generations for not hacking it, for failing to do the research, you know ‘blame the victim.’ In the quoted excerpt this second-career seasoned attorney lays out the obvious defect in the legal education system. Of course the times have changed with the technological advancements, continuous needs to reduce overhead, the mass production of attorneys, and do it yourself  legal forms (with no guidance or advisors), these factors surely have contributed to the increased unemployment of attorneys.

 What is interesting is that the attorney wrote this book within the past decade, maybe his observation of what he sees is the unprepared proliferation of attorneys into a field that held more meaning yester-year struck a nerve. I just came across his biography and book, and it looks like it’s an interesting read.

A Short Article: ‘Thinking about law school?’

subject to copyrighthttp://www.unews.com/thinking-about-law-school-1.1259408

Thinking about law school? By Evan Helmuth Published: Monday, March 8, 2010

The author of this short piece is basically warning 0Ls to not go to law school in particular and to think twice about any other graduate school program. Everyone in my generation, and I suspect others, has been socialized to think of an M.B.A., a J.D. or any number of different graduate degrees as being both prestigious and valuable.

Reality sometimes has a rude way of intruding on our notions that conflict with it.

The financial melt-down of 2008 changed a lot about the legal industry, along with a lot of other industries…

So so true. Attorneys’ families are still unable to understand how an attorney isn’t working, on the verge of homelessness or otherwise not living the ‘high life.’ Generations X, Y and whoever else inherited the debt of the earlier generations. The earlier generations lost their retirement, IRA funds and social security due to corruption and the economy. One cannot reasonably convince themselves in the midst of all this evidence that getting into excessive educational debt will benefit you long term. Maybe the U.S. job market will just turn all the department, convenient stores and restaurants into one huge educational campus. Many intelligent youth have been told by their parents how special they are, that they will make it big, and make “us proud,” that the smack of reality is probably causing nervous breakdowns across the country. Some of the educated stated “I did everything right.” Well, I also noticed a woman on one of these talk shows last year say the same thing. She stated that she waited to get married to have children, her and her husband obtained “good jobs” and they waited until the time was right to get a house. Guess what? Unfortunately, they lost everything. I don’t want to say that it doesn’t matter whether one “does things right.” I will say just know that the system doesn’t care too much and as you have witnessed or experienced, the rug will be pulled right from under you.My favorite quote in the column:

“It makes little sense to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an M.B.A. or J.D. if there are no transactions being done for attorneys to write and no businesses for M.B.A.’s to consult or manage.”

Touché.  Learn a foreign language, relocate abroad (somehow), pay off your consumer debt (though I have no solutions concerning those wretched student loans). It’s done. The younger generations should consider themselves graced they even get the warning, the children born during the later 1970’s didn’t.

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