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Messages - stateofbeasley

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Jason Luros graduated in the top 20 percent of his class at Golden Gate University School of Law in 2007, with a portfolio of internships including business and intellectual property law experience and work abroad.

Given the impression from professors and career counselors that he was doing fine and that law firms were hiring, Luros said that he was surprised at the feeble job market that greeted him on return from Europe last summer. Most of his interviews were with firms of five to 30 attorneys -- and they weren't hiring.

"All the opportunities that I heard about required active bar membership and a lot of experience," Luros said.


Luros decided to pop into the office of a financial services firm and fill out an application. After three rounds of interviews, the firm offered him a job as a financial planner and started him on a training program.


University of San Francisco School of Law Dean Jeffrey Brand says that segment might soon see growth. He sees an employment trend on the horizon that will have graduates from nonelite schools taking a harder look at careers outside the law.

With the economy's recent downturn and mushrooming overhead costs, he thinks law firms will be scaling back job offers.

"What I've heard from firms is that the associate economic structure they've created is destined to collapse," Brand said. Alumni are reporting that large national firms are increasingly hiring laterals or experienced lawyers on a contract basis, he added. "There are fewer associate positions for recent graduates," Brand said. "It's going to require them to be more resourceful in figuring out what they're going to do."

Yet another sign that the bright and shiny future that many law schools promise is often nothing but a sham.  It's just not worth the time and money to attend an expensive private law school if you aren't absolutely sure you want to be a lawyer. 

Looks like a lot of people hope for jobs paying in the 70-100k range.  Fact of the matter is that hardly any law firms pay that for recent graduates.  People are either making 135k + bonus at the big firm, or barely avoiding default on the loans while slaving away for 43k or less.

Bottom line is that people's hopes do not match the reality that greets graduates of TTT law schools.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Taking a year off to work...yes or no
« on: February 04, 2008, 03:18:07 PM »
I'd say yes.

People who go into law school with a year (or better yet, a couple years) actual work experience have a much easier time finding a job.  Your resume looks stronger and shows that you can handle responsibility.

And if you decide law isn't for you later, you have experience somewhere that can help get you out of the legal profession.  People who go into law straight from ugrad get pigeonholed in the law. 

If you want to be a lawyer, going to law school while the interest rates are low and your other job options are weak could rarely be seen as a bad plan.

The key being "if you want to be a lawyer".

When I applied in 2002, the economy and job market were really weak.  Everyone was applying to law school.  By the time I graduated in 2006, there was massive oversupply of JDs, and half or more of the newly admitted attorneys are working in document review sweatshops to keep Sallie Mae away.

The low interest rates were nice though.  The vast majority of my loans are consolidated at fixed rates that are below inflation.

I hate all of this elitism.  I just want to study and then one day teach law.

(Hello Ladies and Gentlemen.  I'm new here.)

I won't mince words:

(1) The legal profession is inherantly "elitist".  The legal system is adversarial, and you gain eliteness by winning winning winning for your client.  Nobody would pay you otherwise.  Legal education is purposely set up to encourage competition and a 'win at all costs' mentality.  For example, many law schools have enforced curves.  Even if everyone learns the material well, a good percentage will lose the grading game because of the curve.

(2) If you want to teach, your best bet is to go to a top ranked law program, get on a journal, and publish.  Look at the profiles of law professors at any school, and you will see that most of them went to T14 schools, or graduated at the top of a lower ranked school.

I think the Indiana article is right on target.  Solo/Small firms require truly entreprenurial personalities.  The run-of-the-mill person who just wants a job will not do well in this type of setting.

A couple things that should also be addressed:

(a) Health care benefits - Small firms generally don't offer great health benefits and you will likely pay a good portion of your premium.

(b) CLE & Bar Association fees - You may also be on your own for this in a small firm.

(c) Retirement plans - Really hit or miss.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Pitt vs. Penn State
« on: January 20, 2008, 09:36:15 AM »
You have a point, but...I can tell you anecdotally that they might be able to jump the rankings.  Look at me.  I have a 163/3.99, and I'm seriously considering going there.

Consider that:

(1) A small number of people with high LSAT #'s will choose to attend a T2 school for various reasons, but these are balanced out by people with low LSAT #'s.  At Temple we had more than a handful of students with 170+ LSAT scores who chose Temple over Penn because of cost. 

(2) Rising LSAT #'s don't really help if the reputation scores aren't there.  Cardozo has a 25/75 spread of 162/166, which is higher than many T1 schools (OSU and Wisconsin for example). 

Again, greenbacks cannot buy reputation.  That's the big picture.

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Pitt vs. Penn State
« on: January 20, 2008, 09:27:23 AM »
W&L did not just become a prestigious law school. It has historically been rated in the top 20 law schools in the country. There is a thread on the "Rankings" section of LSD that can provide you with USNEWS rankings of W&L for the past 15 years.

That was what I was trying to convey.  W&L has a lot of history and a lot of built up reputation.  This is what schools like Seton Hall and Dickinson cannot simply buy with stacks of greenbacks. 

Choosing the Right Law School / Re: Pitt vs. Penn State
« on: January 18, 2008, 03:24:47 PM »
Look at Washington and Lee - Lexington is more rural than Carlisle.

Here's the catch:  Washington & Lee has a moderate amount of prestige NOW.  Dickinson does not, and is attempting to purchase prestige.  Your analogy only works if you can find a low T2 law school that spent TONS of money in recent years and became T1.

Cardozo is an example of a fairly new law school that has spent considerable effort in terms of recruitment of faculty and students.  The faculty is by all accounts very well regarded, but the school has yet to crack T1. 

My own Temple University constructed a new building that opened in 2002, completed extensive renovations in its primary building in 2005, hired new faculty and increased its endowment 10x in the space of a few years.  This has not changed its ranking.  Temple still floats in between the high 50's to mid 60's. 

Money can buy new buildings and new academics.  What it cannot buy is decades of brand-name prestige.  The deans, lawyers, and judges who fill out USNWR surveys can't possibly keep track of all the new buildings and faculty hires that law schools make.  They will judge schools based on the alumni they know and their preconceptions (whether right or wrong) about the school.

It's from Page Six? I have discounted the credibility without even reading it. I don't even want to look at another one of these b1tching and moaning news stories.

It's a good read.

Bottom line: Don't go to law school just because you don't know what else to do.

This young woman was fortunate in that she was able to find a non-legal job at a company she likes.  Many of her colleagues probably ended up in document review.

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