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Author Topic: too many lawyers?  (Read 583 times)

ruick

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too many lawyers?
« on: March 17, 2005, 06:51:39 PM »
I've always been interested in law and i've been interested in becoming a lawyer. Though, is the market oversatured with the masses of lawyers? have the salaries gone down? what is everyone's opinion on this.

SuicideNixon

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Re: too many lawyers?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2005, 07:10:04 PM »
right off the top of my head I know that biglaw base salaries in major markets have not increased in five years. bonuses have declined substantially since the late 90s. However, this only really means that there were too many biglaw lawyers in the late 90s for the economic climate of the early 00s, not anything about the number of lawyers in general or even whether or not there are too many biglaw lawyers today.

however, since many attorney positions do not pay more than what you'd make with a bachelor's the market seems to indicate that there are too many JDs. on the other hand, from your point of view you the potential to make a great deal more than what you'd make with just a bachelors, if you either do well in law school or on the lsat.
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Paperback Writer

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Re: too many lawyers?
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2005, 07:10:45 PM »
In the latest issue of Fortune, lawyers made the top 20 hottest careers for the next 10 years.  There are a lot of lawyers out there, but I think a lot of boomers are going to retire from law and open up a lot of opportunities for Gen-X and Gen-Y.

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Re: too many lawyers?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2005, 07:12:27 PM »
right off the top of my head I know that biglaw base salaries in major markets have not increased in five years. bonuses have declined substantially since the late 90s. However, this only really means that there were too many biglaw lawyers in the late 90s for the economic climate of the early 00s, not anything about the number of lawyers in general or even whether or not there are too many biglaw lawyers today.

however, since many attorney positions do not pay more than what you'd make with a bachelor's the market seems to indicate that there are too many JDs. on the other hand, from your point of view you the potential to make a great deal more than what you'd make with just a bachelors, if you either do well in law school or on the lsat.

Nothing made sense about salaries, bonuses, etc., in any field during the go-go 90's.

SuicideNixon

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Re: too many lawyers?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2005, 07:14:42 PM »
right off the top of my head I know that biglaw base salaries in major markets have not increased in five years. bonuses have declined substantially since the late 90s. However, this only really means that there were too many biglaw lawyers in the late 90s for the economic climate of the early 00s, not anything about the number of lawyers in general or even whether or not there are too many biglaw lawyers today.

however, since many attorney positions do not pay more than what you'd make with a bachelor's the market seems to indicate that there are too many JDs. on the other hand, from your point of view you the potential to make a great deal more than what you'd make with just a bachelors, if you either do well in law school or on the lsat.

Nothing made sense about salaries, bonuses, etc., in any field during the go-go 90's.

absolutely. nyc biglaw was doing all kinds of crazy mergers and they were hiring like crazy. they couldn't get enough associates. some firms actually laid off associates, which is rare since most associates leave the firm on their own after 3-5 years.
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AZWildcat

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Re: too many lawyers?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2005, 01:56:57 AM »
I remember my very first class of college.. just out of HS, I was in a seminar class of 8 with a very tenured professor and all 7 other students were upper class.  He asked me what my plans were, and I said to become a lawyer.  He got this genuinely disgusted look on his face and dismissed me with, "There are too many lawyers."  You could imagine my 18 year old first class of college horror...  But somewhere I came back with the snappy retort, "There aren't enough good ones."  That stopped him dead in his tracks and made him feel pretty stupid, and from then on I went forward with that attitude.  There may be a lot of things, but rarely are there ever enough of them that are good.  Be a good student, a good lawyer, and a good person-- the rest will easily take care of itself.
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carebearx13x

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Re: too many lawyers?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2005, 01:59:39 AM »
"There aren't enough good ones." 

;-) that's a great comeback! :-D

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Boolsae

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Re: too many lawyers?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2005, 02:02:34 AM »
In the latest issue of Fortune, lawyers made the top 20 hottest careers for the next 10 years.  There are a lot of lawyers out there, but I think a lot of boomers are going to retire from law and open up a lot of opportunities for Gen-X and Gen-Y.

Fortune addresses the coming brain drain in the work force in the USA, cause of the graying population.  Some European countries are already dealing with this.

Personally, I think things look good for attorneys.  On average, attorneys have been among the highest paying fields.  Many attorneys are plenty rich, and are probably ready to ride off into the sunset.

Also, unlike jobs like engineering which Fortune addressed, law is not subject to outsourcing or just plugging in an immigrant as much.  So if boomers retire, that should leave quite a big of opening for newly minted JDs

JohnnyC

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Re: too many lawyers?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2005, 02:55:33 AM »
In the latest issue of Fortune, lawyers made the top 20 hottest careers for the next 10 years.  There are a lot of lawyers out there, but I think a lot of boomers are going to retire from law and open up a lot of opportunities for Gen-X and Gen-Y.

Also, unlike jobs like engineering which Fortune addressed, law is not subject to outsourcing or just plugging in an immigrant as much.  So if boomers retire, that should leave quite a big of opening for newly minted JDs

This is not true. Law is already being outsourced to other countries.

http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/mar252004/b5.asp
&
http://www.globallawreview.com/outsourcing.html

are two examples that I can find at the moment. I read an article about it recently on one of the news sites (cnn or something).

I do agree though that law will never be at risk as much as the IT field currently is. I think most law work that is outsourced would be the "busy work" type but since IANAL yet, I can't really say. I am a software engineer at the moment and want to get into patent and ip law. Outsourcing is not the reason that I want to leave though...I work in the defense industry and Indians can't get clearances =). I'm just losing interest in programming and working for a large corporation. As for the topic of this thread...my father is a lawyer and he used to say that there are "sooo many lawyers now" but recently he has had more business than in his entire career. When I told him that I was considering law, he said that the lawyers who make the most money are the ones that are specialized. Try not to pick an area like criminal law. Everyone does criminal law cause it's the easiest law there is. The result is that it doesn't pay very well. After working for a couple of years, I can tell you that it would be a good idea to pick something because you like it, not because it pays well.

Ninja

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Re: too many lawyers?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2005, 09:09:55 AM »
I think the coming problem is that there will be too many people with a college degree, which will diminish the value of a college degree.  This will in turn lead to more people getting JD's, MBA's, or other graduate degrees.  Even if the market does become saturated, you will probably be better off with a JD than someone with just a BA or a BS.