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Is Law School a Losing Game? Article - Page 5

post #61 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConcernedParent View Post
Where do the midsized law firms come in, in terms of employment of freshly minted law-grads? I just don't believe everything has to be OMG-NYC-SKADDENARPS OR 50K A YEAR!!!!! And secondly, even if you do start out at a plebeian wage I'm sure your opportunities for advancement and higher career earnings is much, MUCH greater than those prior to entering lawschool. Think about the kind of kids that go to lawschool; many are social science (excluding econ) or humanities majors. They make dicksquat coming out of college at their HR jobs or whatever, and continue to make dicksquat for the rest of their employable lifetimes. Mediocrity. The average GPA of an engineering major at my school and the one across town is roughly 3.0- I'm sure they find jobs, just not at companies I have ever heard of.
It's known as the bimodality of new law job salaries. Edit: According to the most recent study the new median is $65k. http://volokh.com/2010/07/25/the-bim...of-lawyer-pay/ There are some mid-law jobs, obviously, just not many of them and a lot of them pay well south of market (closer to $60k than $160k) from what I have seen. But, in general, it really is BigLaw or nothing (nothing being those lower paying positions). I agree that English majors will actually make some money as a lawyer, probably more than if they just sat on their BA. But is that much more to offset a huge investment? Probably not.
post #62 of 130
Also, many legal jobs in industry, such as in-house counsel at F500, require BigLaw experience.
post #63 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjakapeanut View Post
if you're someone who wants to work in the public sector or get a government gig or something like that and you go to a good regional school ranked 55th-80thish it can make alot of sense. especially if it's free. without any debt you can just say "well i have the JD now, if i want to use it i can if not i can move on."

You obviously have no clue about the applicant quality for public sector and government jobs. It's unbelievably competitive. These are not just default jobs for those who can't get Big Law jobs. Not every top student at a top school wants to pursue a $150K job and the baggage that comes with it.
post #64 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by zbromer View Post
You obviously have no clue about the applicant quality for public sector and government jobs. It's unbelievably competitive. These are not just default jobs for those who can't get Big Law jobs. Not every top student at a top school wants to pursue a $150K job and the baggage that comes with it.

Especially for DA positions. It's as competitive as BigLaw, from what I know, in the best districts in major cities. LRAP helps with the public jobs, too - something only offered at the better schools, I think.
post #65 of 130
Public sector jobs have become even more competitive in the past few years. As private firms have slowed their hiring, a lot of grads who would have normally gone down that path have been forced to seek employment elsewhere.
post #66 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by zbromer View Post
Public sector jobs have become even more competitive in the past few years. As private firms have slowed their hiring, a lot of grads who would have normally gone down that path have been forced to seek employment elsewhere.
Don't be silly. rjkapeanut knows everything about the legal profession.
post #67 of 130
The guy in the article went into major debt to attend Thomas Jefferson Law School in San Diego.

If he's that dumb, it's no wonder he can't get a job.
post #68 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConcernedParent View Post
Where do the midsized law firms come in, in terms of employment of freshly minted law-grads? I just don't believe everything has to be OMG-NYC-SKADDENARPS OR 50K A YEAR!!!!!
They, largely, don't. There are tons of mid-market firms out there, but they largely hire experienced lawyers. You can either get into mid-law by clawing your way "up" into it, or dropping "down" into it from Biglaw. The classic BIGLAW firms, at least traditionally, had a pyramid-shaped employment structure; lots of juniors, a middling amount of mid-levels, and a handful of equity partners. This is literally a leveraged employment structure; where you have 2-10 salary lawyers working to support 1 equity (ownership) partner. And it was 'up or out' promotion, because you have to keep the equity ranks small, and the base of worker-bees large. Often those that were forced out went to in-house jobs. A lot of those that didn't go in-house dropped down to middle market, or middle America, firms. You spend a few years in Silicon Valley/NYC/DC/Boston, and then when you got burnt out or it was clear that you weren't going to make partner, you parachuted into a mid-market firm where you had "great experience" and connections because you had been sleeping under your desk in Manhattan while grammar checking cutting edge deals that someone else put together. Or you can show them that you're the 6th name on a Supreme Court brief. Mid-market firms often have a 1:1 associate to partner ratio, or even negative leverage (more partners than worker bees). They tend to hire associates laterally (from government, from other firms) where the associate is already experienced, instead of incurring the expenses to train an associate. That way the associate can be profitable from Day 1, instead of Year 2. Which is one reason it's very odd to see an entry-level lawyer job for ~$90k. The whole system is about as screwed up as a football bat, though.
post #69 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai View Post
The guy in the article went into major debt to attend Thomas Jefferson Law School in San Diego.

If he's that dumb, it's no wonder he can't get a job.

That guy was a bad example. They should have chosen someone else.
post #70 of 130
That's typically how journalism works . . .
post #71 of 130
I don't know much about law or law school, but all of the anecdotal evidence I've heard seems to support what most people are saying here. I know three recent lower-tier law grads. One is staying in school to pursue a Master of Laws, one joined the Air Force, and the other is going to teach English in Korea.
post #72 of 130
I don't think even the top 20% of HLS students can get BigLaw jobs, definitely not now. If you're not T14, you can all but count on not getting a BigLaw job. I think a lot of law school students are way overconfident about their abilities, I mean seriously, if you can't even get into a T14 school, you expect to make 160k?
post #73 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by gladhands View Post
One is staying in school to pursue a Master of Laws, one joined the Air Force, and the other is going to teach English in Korea.

out of these three people, i predict only the Air Force JAG will have a positive outcome from their career decision
post #74 of 130
So the general consensus is that HYS (with no money) are still legitimate avenues to pursue prosperity, correct?
post #75 of 130
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the no. 1 reason for kids going to law school: prestige. That oaf in the article even mentioned it. He said, "it's a prestige thing. All of my friends see me as a person they look up to... the respect and admiration is important."

It's a sad state of affairs when the actual state of affairs doesn't matter to people so much as does perception. For an especially coddled portion of the population, the ephemeral prestige associated with something matters more than the reality, especially during the years immediately following undergraduate completion. Hence, my graduating class had a surfeit of Teachers for America, community paper journalists, would-be lawyers, and other assorted riffraff.
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