Law School Discussion

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What do you think?

Yes
 17 (70.8%)
No
 7 (29.2%)

Total Members Voted: 24

Author Topic: Are lawyers/future lawyers more insecure than people in other professions?  (Read 2141 times)

SwampFox

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Most of those nice $150,000+ starting salaries would vanish, simply because of the laws of supply and demand.

This is simply not true.  There's a huge supply of new lawyers each year, but they haven't done anything to drive down the starting salary at the big firms.  Lawyers are simply not fungible in all instances.

There are plenty of new lawyers entering the field each year, but there are not so many new ones entering the field that they throw things out of balance.  There are also plenty of lawyers LEAVING the practice of law every year, due to retirements, changing careers, etc. which offset new ones entering.  My point is that the ABA and the state bar associations do a great job of making sure that the number of people who enter the legal profession is nowhere near what it would be naturally without all the hoops to jump through.  They don't want the profession to be COMPLETELY dried up (that would be suicide), but just to make sure the club is as small as possible.
If the major leagues of baseball were suddenly to expand to 200+ teams, do you think all those new ballplayers (or even the old ones) would be making millions of dollars each year?  No, because at that point the balance of supply and demand would be tilted far out of whack from where it is now.

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And I bet there are tons of partners at big firms who would love to replace some of their associates with outsourced labor from India.  More profit for them.
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Sure, they could replace the junior folks...but what's to stop the entire FIRM being replaced by someone overseas?  If I'm going to save money on my legal fees by paying some young guy in India a quarter of what I pay here, why not replace the older, and even higher-paid, one?

bl825

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Sure, they could replace the junior folks...but what's to stop the entire FIRM being replaced by someone overseas?  If I'm going to save money on my legal fees by paying some young guy in India a quarter of what I pay here, why not replace the older, and even higher-paid, one?

For the same reason why you don't replace the older, higher-paid one with a young lawyer here: the work that's done at the partner level actually makes a huge difference.

Associate level: not as much.
Oh yea...you're delicious and lean, but unsustainable and not to be consumed daily.

SwampFox

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Sure, they could replace the junior folks...but what's to stop the entire FIRM being replaced by someone overseas?  If I'm going to save money on my legal fees by paying some young guy in India a quarter of what I pay here, why not replace the older, and even higher-paid, one?

For the same reason why you don't replace the older, higher-paid one with a young lawyer here: the work that's done at the partner level actually makes a huge difference.

Associate level: not as much.
Ah, but why wouldn't you replace the older, experienced partner here with an older, experienced person somewhere else?
In my experience with offshoring, the offshore crew very quickly came to resemble the crew over here that it replaced.  They had senior people, junior people, and even managers, eventually.  In our case, most of the senior folks had spent at least a year in America to get familiar with our practices, but there's no reason an "offshore law firm" couldn't eventually field a lawyer at every level, including the partner.

bl825

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Sure, they could replace the junior folks...but what's to stop the entire FIRM being replaced by someone overseas?  If I'm going to save money on my legal fees by paying some young guy in India a quarter of what I pay here, why not replace the older, and even higher-paid, one?

For the same reason why you don't replace the older, higher-paid one with a young lawyer here: the work that's done at the partner level actually makes a huge difference.

Associate level: not as much.
Ah, but why wouldn't you replace the older, experienced partner here with an older, experienced person somewhere else?
In my experience with offshoring, the offshore crew very quickly came to resemble the crew over here that it replaced.  They had senior people, junior people, and even managers, eventually.  In our case, most of the senior folks had spent at least a year in America to get familiar with our practices, but there's no reason an "offshore law firm" couldn't eventually field a lawyer at every level, including the partner.

Because the older experienced person somewhere else doesn't have the experience of practicing here, which is why the experienced partners are valuable?
Oh yea...you're delicious and lean, but unsustainable and not to be consumed daily.

SwampFox

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Wow, that was quick.
I hate to play the "personal anecdotal experience" card, but I never saw things work that way in practice.  Where I used to work, the senior offshore staff spent a year in the U.S. first before going back to India or Southeast Asia, in no small part to defuse the "how can these folks in a Third-World country know what they're doing?" argument, just as you said.  However, I don't think it ever came up with a potential customer.  People were willing to chance that the offshore help was, if not as good, at least good enough.  Even people that expressed dismay that good-paying American jobs (eventually including mine) were going overseas still signed on the dotted line when they saw the enormous price difference.  American engineers just can't compete with someone making $4/hour.  (In reality, it turned out that the offshore work almost never was good enough, and it had nothing to do a lack of exposure to American business practices).
Just because someone is in a foreign country doesn't mean he or she couldn't become an expert on American laws.  I suppose even courtroom action could get outsourced, if teleconferencing equipment could be used.
I've heard that even a lot of medical work is now getting done overseas.  X-ray analysis, for example, is often sent out to someone in Asia before being sent back here.

bl825

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Wow, that was quick.
I hate to play the "personal anecdotal experience" card, but I never saw things work that way in practice.  Where I used to work, the senior offshore staff spent a year in the U.S. first before going back to India or Southeast Asia, in no small part to defuse the "how can these folks in a Third-World country know what they're doing?" argument, just as you said.  However, I don't think it ever came up with a potential customer.  People were willing to chance that the offshore help was, if not as good, at least good enough.  Even people that expressed dismay that good-paying American jobs (eventually including mine) were going overseas still signed on the dotted line when they saw the enormous price difference.  American engineers just can't compete with someone making $4/hour.  (In reality, it turned out that the offshore work almost never was good enough, and it had nothing to do a lack of exposure to American business practices).
Just because someone is in a foreign country doesn't mean he or she couldn't become an expert on American laws.  I suppose even courtroom action could get outsourced, if teleconferencing equipment could be used.
I've heard that even a lot of medical work is now getting done overseas.  X-ray analysis, for example, is often sent out to someone in Asia before being sent back here.

Okay, fair enough.  I guess given enough time and open access, there might be overseas lawyers who develop enough expertise with American law, courts to effectively compete with even partners at American firms.

Maybe the power lawyers will eventually make it possible to outsource everything except what they do.  ;)
Oh yea...you're delicious and lean, but unsustainable and not to be consumed daily.

SwampFox

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Maybe the power lawyers will eventually make it possible to outsource everything except what they do.  ;)
Let's sure hope they don't  :)!  We'll all need jobs in three years  :)

CTL

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I'm not insecure, but I am a little neurotic, egotistical, and really competitive.  I have a feeling I will be in good company in the fall.
If looks could kill, you would be an uzi.

vercingetorix

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I'm not insecure, but I am a little neurotic, egotistical, and really competitive.  I have a feeling I will be in good company in the fall.

wow. by the looks of this site you're also lame...which will be a great distraction for your peers.

nealric

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Why are you questioning me?

I am JUST FINE. There Is NOTHING WRONG WITH ME.

*Rocks back and fourth in fetal position while sucking thumb*
Georgetown Law Graduate

Chief justice Earl Warren wasn't a stripper!
Now who's being naive?