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Author Topic: Too many law schools/students/lawyers?  (Read 1048 times)

brasky

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Too many law schools/students/lawyers?
« on: April 08, 2008, 03:40:27 PM »
Hey...

all this discussion about TTT got me thinking... do we have too many law peoples... can the demand for lawyers keep up with supply? 

I have no idea... I just would like to know what everyone else believes / has researched.

The closer I get the start of law school the more and more I wonder if it is worth it... if I will be able to get employed not die poor and miserable etc.

In addition I hear talk of law schools fudging with the their numbers.  How are they doing this... are there any examples?   
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T. Durden

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Re: Too many law schools/students/lawyers?
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2008, 03:56:01 PM »
beware of the "average median salary" 6mos or 1year out

schools love to tell you that "our average grad 1 year post graduation is making 145,000 or 160,000" etc

generally speaking this is erroneous as they are basing that # upon a survey that does not require all participants to reply; as such, you usually only have those who have high paying jobs who respond

rep from t20 school X: "come to our school at full price! don't worry, you'll pay it off in no time as as our median first year salary is $160,000!

you think, "awesome! this decision is easy .." when in fact it is not; the real story is this: "come to our school at full price! don't worry, you'll pay it off in no time provided that you finish in the top 35% of your class and make it into big law; otherwise, yeah, you'll be totally f**cked, but that's not our problem! And oh, did we mention that you'll be competing against a group of high IQ type A workaholics?"

as long as you know the risks, have at it - otherwise you might want to inquire further to make sure that you fully realize what you are getting yourself into (and obviously the better the school the larger the % comes; i.e. harvard: "provided that you finish top 99%!") :)

confusedatquinnipiac

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Re: Too many law schools/students/lawyers?
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2008, 04:01:23 PM »
Hey...

all this discussion about TTT got me thinking... do we have too many law peoples... can the demand for lawyers keep up with supply? 

I have no idea... I just would like to know what everyone else believes / has researched.

The closer I get the start of law school the more and more I wonder if it is worth it... if I will be able to get employed not die poor and miserable etc.

In addition I hear talk of law schools fudging with the their numbers.  How are they doing this... are there any examples?   

If it makes you feel any better, I am about to finish my 1L and still worry a lot about those things, especially since I go to an ok ranked law school (108 on US News, but up from 116 the year before) but by no means a Harvard or Yale... but I think ultimately we have to figure that it all comes down to whether you like the law; not whether you like law school (because many people hate it) but whether you like the law itself... I mean lets face it, regardless of salary coming out, if we have made it to law school, it means we will probably making at least average incomes without even having earned a degree yet just by way of our undergrad degrees etc. As far as beyond that, the loans suck but just a cost of it i guess

Peaches

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Re: Too many law schools/students/lawyers?
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2008, 04:23:07 PM »
There are a few types of employment data, and they are all collected by survey.  Some schools are more aggressive than others with getting students to fill out the surveys.  (Clearly, some schools don't *really* want to know the answers to the surveys.) First, people often inflate numbers on the survey to make themselves more impressive, and second, people with high-paying jobs are the ones most likely to respond.   I've also read somewhere that for US News purposes, they just calculate that a certain percentage of the people who do not return surveys are employed. 

% Employed at graduation: This number is more important in law school than it is in undergrad.  If you're not employed at graduation, you may find it difficult to land a job until after you find out your bar results.  This means that you're taking out additional loans to pay for your living expenses and bar review course.  Also, your loan deferrals will kick in almost in line with when you find out about your bar results.  Many students who are employed at graduation, especially with market-paying firms will have all sorts of benefits to get them through the gap. Additionally, some schools hire a few desperate grads as low-paying research assistants in order to boost the numbers.

% Employed after 9 months: These numbers count ANY employment.  Your student loan payments have kicked in by this time.  Who doesn't have to have SOME kind of employment after 9 months???  Therefore, this number includes people who are working as paralegals, in non-law related jobs, or even retail out of necessity.  It also includes people who are working in doc review sweatshops on a contract basis.  It's temping for lawyers, and it sucks.  You have a law degree and you are doing low-level work, poorly paid, with no benefits and no real opportunity for advancement, etc.  But hey, it counts for your school's "employed at 9 months" numbers!

Midlaw Myth:  Many students think: "It's OK if I don't get biglaw.  I'll just work in midlaw for $30,000 less.  $80-100k still sounds great to me!  Let the snooty T14 kids fight it out for $130-160k."  But if you look at the salary distributions, "Midlaw" is basically a myth.  Most of the salaries across the industry are distributed in the high range or the low-end-barely-paying-off-the-loans range.  There are mid-size law firms, but most of them pay at the "biglaw" end of the bell curve and are highly competitive.  There are lots of T25 grads who WANT secondary markets, mid-sized firms, quality of life, and faster track to partner, so students at lower-ranked schools shouldn't count on the doors to the mostly mythical midlaw opening to them.

brasky

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Re: Too many law schools/students/lawyers?
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2008, 05:26:17 PM »
Oh man I just found this totally frightening chart which at moment is making me seriously consider what I have done with my life.  Anyway, here it is the link (sorry I don't have the skillz to insert images on this page).   

http://www.elsblog.org/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/08/30/nalp_bimodal.jpg

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Peaches

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Re: Too many law schools/students/lawyers?
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2008, 05:32:47 PM »
Yeah, that's the midlaw myth dispelled.

Were you accepted to any T1 schools? 

brasky

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Re: Too many law schools/students/lawyers?
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2008, 05:41:08 PM »
Yes UWisc, but I was too stupid and short sighted to see past the loans (missed deposit etc).  At this time my only hope is be first in my class or reverse time and become an engineer. 

Wait... I could live in a dumpster... no housing expenses... boo yahhh! I suppose there would be the terrible smell... considering... nope it is still boo yahhh!
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Peaches

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Re: Too many law schools/students/lawyers?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2008, 06:25:19 PM »
I have heard tell of admitted students who changed their minds calling admissions director and asking to be added to waitlists, saying that they have the deposit in hand and would attend if readmitted...

You could also do the wait a year and reapply.  If you aren't happy with your choice right now, I'd worry that it is only going to go downhill from there...

starter

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Re: Too many law schools/students/lawyers?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2008, 10:23:14 PM »
Oh man I just found this totally frightening chart which at moment is making me seriously consider what I have done with my life.  Anyway, here it is the link (sorry I don't have the skillz to insert images on this page).   

http://www.elsblog.org/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/2007/08/30/nalp_bimodal.jpg



If you're not in biglaw, you'll be ecstatic to land a $62,000 job out of law school which is the median salary in that chart.  You should probably think along the lines of 45-50K as being more realistic. 

1LMan

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Re: Too many law schools/students/lawyers?
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2008, 10:38:19 PM »
That's sad.  You do realize that a government salary for just about any job series will be at $70k in 2-3 years, right?  That is with nothing more than a bachelor's degree and a 3.0 gpa.