Beer's link contains a wrenching (but, for those of us who have read lots of similar blogs, unsurprising) post from a U of MN grad considering moving to Ireland to avoid repayment of law school debt due to an inability to find a job. Kind of like Michael Moore's Sicko
focused on the horror stories of people WITH health insurance, this woman's post serves as a corrective to those who think a Top 25 school is a free ticket to six-fig salaries; it is not only the T2-T4 grads who suffer. (I especially enjoyed her point about even small, 40K-paying firms that feel "entitled" to require top qualifications/LS pedigrees/grades from law students).
Such posts bothered me the most when I was taking the first tentative steps toward applying to/thinking about LS. A bit of hard thinking about my current finances and (non-trad) situation has made the negative aspects of post-LS prospects sit a little easier with me. Since undergrad, I've worked (in some cases, been exploited) for almost ten years in other fields (have a non-tech, non-business graduate degree) and have become used to low salaries in a city with a very high cost of living. My job has required me to work closely with certain elements of the law and with lawyers, and I've found it to my liking. I'd be pleased to find legal employment paying around 55-60K (or 10-15K less in a less expensive area), but I am prepared for the fact that I may not be able to find a job immediately after LS (and have planned accordingly), and that when I do, it may be for considerably less than 55K.
Non-Trads might come off as condescending sometimes, and perhaps unjustifiably so (I'd like to be entering LS a few years younger, for e.g.), but one advantage we may have is years of perspective on the type of jobs that would satisfy us after graduation, and, more importantly, the type of job we may have a real shot at. A few things I've ruled out are relying on Career Services/OCI to find a job; taking on more debt than I will be able to comfortably pay off; and assuming that even good grades at the Top 18-30 schools I am considering will net me a high-paying job.
Or maybe I'm just easy to please.