Friday, August 16, 2013

A Reader's Personal Story

(This was sent via email, and is posted anonymously at the author's request.  These stories are always welcome, and are one of the most effective ways of making law school applicants realize that there are real faces and ruined lives behind our message.)
The following is a rite of passage for thousands and thousands of Lemmings. It is intended as a road map for the challenges facing young law school graduates.

As a fresh law school graduate, you may be fairly optimistic, sending out resumes and cover letters, going to networking events, contacting your former law school classmates who found jobs, etc. You’ve attended your law school graduation and your parents may have even sprung for a vacation as a present. You have moved back in with your parents but it's a temporary thing until you get full-time attorney job. Or maybe you have a girlfriend with a job and you two are starting to get serious. "Things will be much better once you can show you've passed the bar," gushes the nice lady from the Career Services Office in an e-mail. You are kind of annoyed that you don’t have a job lined up, but you know a lot of people graduated without jobs, so you’re doing ok for now. You spend a lot of time studying for the bar, then take it and pass. Whoo-hoo! You’re a real lawyer!

After a few months of doing the same thing (sending resumes, researching companies, seeking contacts at companies and law firms), a vague unease seeps in. You’re unemployed, and all the resumes you send out disappear into a black hole. Your high school and college buddies commiserate, but they are pretty busy with their own jobs. And besides, who wants to be around someone who has no money and mopes about trying to get a job? A law degree is versatile, you tell yourself. I need to think about expanding my job search. Maybe in a couple of months I’ll start to consider flyover country.

Your parents start inquiring gently about the format of your resume or maybe at the possibility of stooping to temporary work. After all, an able-bodied adult should be able to get some kind of work, shouldn’t they? Work instills a sense of dignity and self-worth. You spent $120,000 on this degree and were taught by the brightest minds in the nation, so there must be a place in society for you? Your Dad suggest you highlight your high school babysitting gigs as proof you would be a good fit for family law. You start really stretching the truth on your resume, and every resume is tailored specifically to the job description. You spend hours honing your LinkedIn profile and making connections.

Maybe you notice or maybe you don't, but you've started drinking more and getting up later and later. You're cutting back on social engagements because you are simply running out of money. If you live with your girlfriend you might notice a certain distance has opened up between you. It’s not enough that you notice it every day, just that she seems distant at times and wants to go to the gym more. (You can’t afford that gym membership!) The loans are coming due soon and the lack of interviews or even contact from potential employers has become an uneasy feeling at the back of your stomach. A few months ago you started responding to Craigslist legal job ads, but you haven’t even gotten an acknowledgment.

You are still attending local bar events, but you notice a wary look in peoples’ eyes as you approach them. Deep down you know they can immediately see right through you. You know they get nervous about your flattery and attention, and really just want to get out of any conversation as fast as possible. After all, they are clinging on to their $50K/year jobs and don’t need another potential competitor at the firm.

The special snowflake melts

At about the 6 month mark the fear starts to take hold. You know from the news that many companies and law firms won’t even take a second look at someone who has been out of work for 6 months. Your confidence is coming under serious attack. You say to yourself: “I took the Criminal Law clinic in law school and got an A in Civil Procedure, so I know how to write a complaint. I can add value if they would just give me a shot. Why aren’t they giving me interviews?” You schedule a few more mock interviews with the people at the Career Services office, but find them useless.

If you were a non-traditional student, you start thinking about getting back into your previous line of work. You quickly discover that no one will take a second look at you because of the 3-4 year unexplained gap on your resume. You feel like you have been shut out of your previous career and have zero opportunity going forward. It’s like being stranded in a long dark hall with a lot of locked doors. By now your girlfriend has dumped you or your relationship is on the rocks. Either way, you are now solidly in your parents’ basement.

And now the loans are coming due. You sporadically check the “exclusive” job board on Simplicity, but there’s never anything new and all the jobs require years of experience you don’t have. Entry-level attorney jobs just don’t seem to exist. You might have wandered into the career services office again, but that turned out to be a mistake. After all, they only exist as a dating service for the top 5%, and they have fresh students to worry about. Your e-mail account at your law school has expired and you start getting e-mails from the alumni board asking for money. After all, you went to the 61st top ranked Toilet, so you must be making $160K, right?

Wrong. You have been reduced to taking on odd jobs for your parents. You can’t even take unemployment. The other young people you see in your neighborhood all seem to be getting on with their lives.  You look up the bios of your classmates and are disappointed that a number of them seem to be at law firms. You sink deeper into depression. After all, these people didn’t do much better than you and had abhorrent personalities. Or maybe it’s you? Maybe you interview badly? Maybe you’re not attractive enough, or young enough, or articulate enough? You have definitely lost confidence and it shows. The stench of failure clings to you and you often feel like you’re being choked. That uneasy feeling in your stomach from a few months back has become a constant pain. If you can afford a doctor, you are put on antidepressants and maybe the occasional benzo.

From 6 months out, things just keep getting worse. Your grooming habits keep slipping. You have cancelled your mobile phone service. You now think it’s OK to wear sweatpants to the local coffee shop and idly sit there all day. Months ago you “expanded your job hunt” to include anywhere in the country pretty much doing anything, but you get the same results; zero callbacks, zero interviews, not even an acknowledgement that they received your resume. You start becoming bitter and increasingly estranged from your friends and family. You can’t even enjoy having the time to do whatever you want. You see no way out.

I wish I could say it gets better but it doesn’t. This is the reality for hundreds of thousands.


  1. You forgot the part about the deterioration of your relationships with non-law family and friends who are subconsciously imbued with the pervasive stereotype of the successful downtown commercial lawyer and who believe your job search should be a piece of cake thanks to "the Internet and Facebook." "Have you tried 'networking?'," they earnestly ask you. "Have you gone on the Internet?"

    You're not trying hard enough.

    "Keep pounding the pavement," they say. "There will always be a need for lawyers... See, look here. The federal government is prosecuting this man for export trade violations under some statute, so there is a demand for lawyers."

    It's your fault; you're not trying hard enough.

    You thought your fancy schooling was buying you a Job... they thought similarly. Now you're learning otherwise firsthand; they're not. They still think you bought a Job, and can just get one with a little networking. You're moving in different worlds.

    The tragedy is the thousands of students about to enter the mill in the next few weeks.

  2. Sorry to hear about this, friend. I hope you find work soon.

  3. Yesterday we read about the profs and their junkets to the Breakers. Today we see how the other half lives.

  4. This letter hits pretty much all the low points, after graduation. If prospective law students stumble onto this entry and choose to ignore it, then they deserve their fate.

    1. If prospective law students are ignoring Third Tier Reality, they need to have their heads examined. TTR has been laying out the facts for a few years now, and has provided some hard-hitting graphics to help take the discussion from the hypothetical to the real world.

      Bravo TTR. I fear it may be time to consider calling it Second Tier reality?

      There is none so blind as he who will not see.

    2. Actually, as a current student at a "first tier" trap school, I can assure you that the site could be renamed "Sub-T14 Reality" without having to change any substantive content.

      Trap Schools are terrible, because students here had good GPAs and LSAT scores and think they did due diligence by avoiding the "lower ranked" schools. Only when people start looking for jobs do they realize that JDs from anywhere outside the T-14 are often lumped together in the same "non-elite" category.

    3. Even the T14 carry big risk today. Most people get something out of law school. Later on, many are unemployed or underemployed.

    4. Opposing counsel in one of my cases was recently laid off from his insurance defense mill position. This wouldn't be anything unusual in today's market except for the fact he was double Harvard. His current state bar page lists him as a "solo," so this was definitely a layoff, not a lateral move.

      At this point, if they aren't already doing so, 0Ls should be questioning why a double Harvard grad (for both his undergrad and JD) was even working for a mediocre insurance defense mill in a 2nd tier market in the first place... and be afraid... be VERY afraid.

  5. This is the awful reality for many. I remember being in my 2L year and thinking the law practice ship had sailed, so I started retooling for other jobs. Being a non-trad certainly wasn't a plus, as OP stated - old career was shut, new career had no prospects.

    I remember how my law school basically threw me out on my ear during the job search. Yes, there was the mental masturbation that was OCS, but other than that, as a grad, I was persona non grata when it came to the use of the Law School facilities. The new students were being loaded into the abattoir; time for the processed meat to be shipped out. I had to go to the undergraduate library to do my job search, check e-mail, and the like, as my home internet options wasn't as great as they are now.

    Even then, it wasn't easy street. Things did finally "work out" (grim chuckle), but it was no thanks to my law school. I haven't forgotten how I and many similarly situated were treated ten years ago, which is why my law school can suck it now when they ask for donations.

  6. My friend, I have been where you have been. For my first four years out of law school, I was either unemployed or underemployed. I remember days upon days of sitting at my parents' house, looking at job listings and immediately telling myself how I was not qualified for the job. I had the same well meaning advice from friends and family. Luckily, my friends were supportive and didn't turn their backs on me. I tried doc review, going solo, interning, etc. None of it really worked. I was able to finally get a decent paying gig at a small firm, but the structure of the firm was such that I was never going to advance in any way.

    I was lucky in that my dad had a company, and he was willing to let me put down that I was working there the whole time. Putting down that I worked there gave me some semblance of a long and stable post law school work history. If there is any way for you to claim you were working somewhere this whole time, it will help immensely. Please don't take this as me trying to give you the same baloney advice non-law people do. I think you're a bright person, and genuinely believe that you will make it. If I can do it, anyone can.

    I am now extremely happy at my non-law job and have no desire whatsoever in going back into the legal profession. If it's at all possible, forgo the law. It is a terrible profession full of the same terrible people you hated in law school.

    1. I'm the OP,

      Yes, it's important to at least have the appearance of employment, so you can claim that you weren't unemployed. LEMMINGS, pay heed.

      I did that for the first 2 years out of law school. I worked at one of the worst places I've ever worked, and I've had some bad jobs in my life! I actually made less there than I would have if I worked at Lowe's, and had a terrible work environment, with screamers, vituperative power-mad secretaries and supervisors, pay scams. The whole lot.
      However, I was able to say that I wan't unemployed, and that really makes a difference when you're applying for jobs.
      LEMMINGS, pay heed.

  7. I have a question to the original author so that we can all help better prevent this from happening.

    the information was starting to be available that law school was a scam.

    did you not see it? did you not believe it? did you think you were a special snow flake?

    what could people have done to make a difference?

    1. I am the OP.

      When I started law school in 2005, everything appeared to be roses. My law-prof brother in law congratulated me and said I would be in fine shape, even if I did not get OCI. I trusted what the career services office said about employment outcomes. I knew OCI was for the top 10%, but I thought with my solid decade of engineering experience I would be able to find work in patent law, even if I didn't make 10%.

      There certainly wasn't the scam blogging movement and general awareness that there is now.

      To be fair, I did have a bit of the special snowflake syndrome. Someone should have grabbed me and shaken some sense into me. Unfortunately no one did, although I know my parents never supported my decision and I should have seen that as a red flag. Believe me, my special snowflake melted long before I graduated. Although some parts of my story are true, a lot are based on what I have seen happen to other people.

      What could have made a difference:
      - Someone advising me to drop out after my fall 1L grades came in. (I was still working at my old company and my opportunity costs would have been relatively modest, like $20K or so.) I came right in at a solid B and should have seen the writing on the wall.

      One problem with that was the "getting your grades" date was at or around the latest date for dropping out without forfeiting your tuition. So at best you got a day or two to decide. As it turns out, I busted my ass and got 20% higher up in the rankings. But as we know, that makes diddly's worth of difference.

      - My brother in law not lying to me.

      - The earlier presence of the scam-blogging movement. But you have to realize, in 2004-2005, everything was great. I am aware of only one article from 2004 talking about the scam.

      - Truth from the career services office and from the law professors. I thought these cockroaches wouldn't lie to me. Boy, was I wrong about that. Hell, they're still lying, trying to save their asses as the ship sinks behnd them.

      - A greater awareness that being a lawyer is not a guarantee of any type of stable, decent-paying long-term employment. In fact, the more people I talk to, the more it seems like it's exactly the opposite. It seems that very few can actually make a decent living as an attorney.

    2. that definitely sucks about the brother in law. that must make for some awkward family get togethers. does he admit that he was wrong?

      back then it was definitely less info available.

      are you in law now?

      Are you doing better financially?

    3. The part about your brother in law is sickening. These parasites will even screw family to protect their racket. My wife's brother in law has a serious problem keeping his hands to himself when he's around young boys, including ours, but I can at least be thankful that he's not a law professor.

    4. CLASS OF 2016:

      There really IS still time to change the road you're on! Run away from law school, even if it means forfeiting deposits... or a whole semester's tuition.

      If you've already paid for a semester and can't get money back, attend a few classes, ask inane questions, give non sequitur responses when socratamized, and ask the folks in career services pointed, uncomfortable questions. Leave steamers in the johns.

      I know ... you're not thinking about 3 years down the road. You've done K-JD, and school is all you know. School is safe and 3 years is a student's eternity.

      But three years will be upon you quicker than you know.

      Take it from someone 10 years out...there's no stability in firm practice. The massive oversupply of lawyers has made firms revolving doors. The up-or-out survivor game makes your brief stint no fun at all. (That's assuming you ever find employment).

      Law school ain't a fall back. It's falling on your face.

      Don't be lazy. Find another path.

    5. "I knew OCI was for the top 10%, but I thought with my solid decade of engineering experience I would be able to find work in patent law, even if I didn't make 10%."

      I resemble that remark, OP. I started in 2002. And instead of people being straight with you, they just let you carry on down the primrose path. It's sad and frustrating. I got so sick of hearing "just do patents!!1111!1eleven" as if I was a dope, or that patent law jobs were just hanging on trees ready for plucking.

      My folks were less enthused with me going back to school, as yours were. We both should have listened, I guess. Who would have known that the law schools, with all their pontificating about ethics and service, were abject, shameless liars?

    6. Not likely your law prof brother in law lied to you. Back then, lots of law students were landing on their feet, and I have to assume most law profs truly believed most of their students would find jobs in the law. I suspect your age was working against you when you graduated. In my law school evening classes, there were quite a few engineers, but they all went part-time and never gave up their day jobs. Same with the physicians.

    7. Anon @ 9:36 AM,
      I'm somewhat in law: "JD advantage" and I'm doing OK financially. Not 6 figures but OK. I cannot complain, but nor can I forget the multiple hundreds of thousands dollars of opportunity cost, nor the outright lies the law school establishment told me. Don't get me wrong. I spend energy writing this stuff and pursuading Lemmmings away from law school because I DON'T want them to make the same mistake I did. It's not because I'm feeling sorry for myself. I'm grateful for everything I have.

      My brother-in-law does not ever admit he was wrong and no, I do not get along with him. At all. Law school professors think they are incapable of error.

      Anon @11:05,
      Yeah, I'm sure my age was working against me. I just didn't think age would work against a 34 year old entry-level attorney. Apparently I was wrong. That's another thing we need to beat into these Lemmings; Don't do it if you're above a certain age.

      Anecdote: I knew this sad old man during law school. He was a fellow student. He was an ex-firefighter who had a gamey leg and was in his mid-50's. A real friendly guy with a lot of life experience. I bet you can guess how well he fit in with IMing and facebooking 23 year olds!Andyway, I occasionally wonder what the hell he's doing, cause I doubt very much he's working in law.

    8. "I just didn't think age would work against a 34 year old entry-level attorney. Apparently I was wrong."

      Another cruel reality. Law Schools know this due to their unique vantage point, yet they paint the exact opposite picture.

  8. Loved this part, which instantly made me think of Jackass Marshall: "Or maybe it’s you? Maybe you interview badly? Maybe you’re not attractive enough, or young enough, or articulate enough?" The law school cartel desperately wants its grads to think this.

    Serious question though. Why don't more unemployed law grads look for jobs in eDiscovery? Or other legal outsourcing fields for that matter?

  9. I also went to LS with the thought of doing patent law. I attended a TTT and ultimately did obtain a decent associate position at a GP firm with a strong patent department about 6 months after graduation. Like many, I did have some decent OCI interviews and callbacks, but struck out on getting a 2L summer offer. I ended up doing my 2L summer at a small boutique in the DC area. That firm ultimately went belly up so when I graduated I had to start the whole process over again. After working for 2 years at the GP firm doing patent work, I was shown the door. This was back in the mid 2000's. I have yet to get back on track. Done the solo thing for a few months, tons of document review, some JD-preferred type work as of late, but no permanent position OF ANY KIND, legal or otherwise. I've been making progress on my loans over the past decade and can now somewhat see the light at the end of the student debt tunnel, but it will still take about 5 years to completely get out of debt. If I had to do it over again, I would have stayed in science, despite the lower pay. Science jobs were always stable for me and interesting. After my work in patent law, I've been bored out of my mind, clock watching as they say. Too many people jumped on the patent law bandwagon. I know many patent lawyers that are unemployed. Unless you have a Ph.D. in the chem/bio sciences, I'd recommend finding another career path for the aspiring patent attorney. There's just too much competition out there.

    1. You are correct about holding a PhD in the chemical and biological sciences if one truly wants to be a patent attorney who is gainfully employed. The pharmaceutical sector is one area where highly specialized patent attornerys working on patent infringement related to complex structures of both conventional drugs and biological based drugs known as biologics. Biologics are drugs that contains 100,000s of atoms in their compounds as opposed to the convetional chemical-based drugs which have hundreds of atoms. Biologics are the drugs that are sophisticated enough to target the activities of cellular mechanisms and it is a promising and growing segment of the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. I see a strong demand in this area of pharmaceutical patent law. But this is a very small niche that most people simply do not possess the technical competency for such litigation.

      So in other words if you do NOT understand biologics or other pharmaceuticals at an in-depth level then you probably do not have much of a chance in the patent law arena. Technology patent attorneys are a dime a dozen and everyone who has an engineering degree thinks they are going to be a patent attorney and be counsel to Apple in their next patent head smacker with Samsung. The technology sector in America is undergoing serious changes. Everyone in the technology sector is disposable and Silicon Valley CEOs are fixing to hire as many H1-b Visa holders as they can who they can use like indentured servants. Every company wants cheap, flexible, throw-away labor that they do not have to pay good money for their services.

      I love how Santa Clara University law school and even their business school tout their location in Silicon Valley as if it means diddly squat. Just because I go to college across the street from the IRS and I major in accounting does it mean I will get a job there? HELL NO!

    2. Another note on the changes in the technology sector and its implications on the legal job market and really for the job market overall. The technology sector is undergoing a seismic shift right now from a hardware/human world to a software world. Bulky hardware like routers and switchers are being replaced with software that can do the same job for less cost and less time. Since routers and switchers are no longer needed that means jobs for the manufacture and repair of these switches and routers is going out the door. Software is highly technical but it is quicker to produce (no assembly lines and quality control personnel) because you only need a handful of highly technically competent software engineers who will program the code and do the debugging.

      In the area of law and accounting, labor is being replaced by software as well. Computer programs that can perform discovery or do complex accounting functions are done in miliseconds and with lightening accuracy. So the law school and business school pigs teach classes and provide career outlooks to students based on their era, which was an era of less automation and a tremendous period of post-World War Two growth.

    3. Great comments, thank you. A lot of what you say is interesting. Specifically, I am worried about the effect of immigration law changes on the already bad labor market in America. My father and brothers are computer programmers in niche fields. I'm worried they'll get replaced with foreign cheap labor. As to the working class, in America, I dread to think what will happen.

  10. I am from the area of accounting and the situation is similar for accounting graduates but not quite as extreme with law graduates because of the debt involved. My situation is not much dissimilar to law graduates because I did everything right and I still did not land a job a in my profession. Now I have a job changing commercial jetliner hydraulic fluid for OK pay where I can actually live remotely like a human being and service my massive debt. Aircraft hydraulic fluid known as Skydrol is the nastiest crap in the world, it looks like purple Gatorade and it leaves extremely painful sun burn like rashes on the skin, definitely not the nice accounting job I imagined while studying hard. I got one foot on the ground and one foot on a banana peel sliding towards default and a job at Mal-Wart. All I ever wanted was to work hard and have a good job, why the hell would I have done all the college and CPA exam stuff anyway? I guess my student loan payments are an ambition tax for the 99% of society who even dare of wanting to improve their lives.

    I know my background is from accounting, but I see too many similarities between the position of accounting and law graduates. Higher education really is a joke now. At least half of the colleges and universities need to be shutdown, they really have become job banks for a handful of elites. Fortunately, I did not follow through on my ridiculous ambitions to be a tax attorney. I changed my mind the last minute, realizing it was too damn expensive. After doing some more homework, I concluded that it was former IRS attorneys who worked in the IRS Office of the Chief Counsel that got the big tax court jobs because they actually drafted the IRS Treasury regulations THEMSELVES! How the hell can a heavily indebted, inexperienced tax attorney compete in such an environment?

    1. Sorry to hear of your tough situation. Thanks for another insightful comment. My other brother is into accounting so now you've got me worried again.

      I myself tried to go into academia, got a Phd, etc. I wasn't really scammed since I knew it was a bad job market and I wanted to do it anyway. Not really regretting it since it was fast and cheap for me.

      When I was in grad school, I knew a guy doing a PhD in finance. We were chatting once and I thought finance profs must be higher paid than law profs, so I ask him about their salaries. He said actually finance profs are not the highest paid in academia. Guess who are. Accounting professors! Supposedly because its so boring and no one wants to do an accounting PhD. I wonder how long till we see an Inside the Accounting School Scam.

      Hope you can find work soon. Good luck. I hear aircraft maintanence work is getting outsourced to El Salvador.

  11. " You look up the bios of your classmates and are disappointed that a number of them seem to be at law firms. "

    This might be the worst. I'm gainfully employed (currently) at a firm I love, but I have classmates who are at much, much nicer firms, and equally-talented classmates who are at hourly-wage shitholes, and equally talented classmates who are unemployed entirely.

    The legal employment market is incredibly arbitrary. Lemmings do not understand this. Not only is their "I'll be in the top 10%" misguided in fact, it's misguided in foundation. Unless you nab a spot at OCI, finishing ahead of someone in no way, shape, or form means you will wind up with a better job than the people who finished lower than you. I can tell you from experience I know multiple people working at nice mid-law and big-law firms in Chicago or have otherwise enviable jobs who were middling law students, while their very classmates who were on law review or in the top 15% are otherwise struggling.

    After OCI is done, it's all about connections, who interviews you, and luck.

    1. I'm the OP.

      True all that. A better looking person with low grades is going to get the job first.
      I knew one girl who had pretty poor grades, certainly not enough for OCI, who wound up at Lovells. Maybe she is a great lawyer, maybe not, but she idolized Paris Hilton and was pretty decent looking (for Law School).

    2. That's true. This was years ago, but I went to a TTT law school, part-time, and graduated at best at the bottom of the top third . . . never really knew for sure. I had no trouble passing the bar. Got a job as a prosecutor, and then easily moved from there into mid-law. Nobody ever asked me about my grades or rank in class. Not once. I simply was friendly with people and that friendship led to a job in mid-law. I would like to tell you that I hated it, but I actually was very happy there. I worked long hours, but enjoyed the work. I think the key to my happiness was this: (1) I was single. (2) my debts from going to law school were minimal at best and easily handled and thus (3) I had no obligations to anybody but myself. I felt like I could do anything I wanted, and I could have. Today, the worst possible scenario must be (1) graduating with a wife and kids with (2) no or few good job prospects and (3) massive amounts of student debt.

      I have read how the Sally Mae collectors call people dozens of times a week to try to collect, and how lawyers are threatened with bar complaints if they don't pay up. I understand that some bars are actually disbarring lawyers who default on their student loans.

      Really, I don't think much is going to change. The only possibility of a real change I see is if some people go postal and shoot up a Sallie Mae office, and only then will there be a debate about what Student debt is doing to those students who can't afford to pay it. I would not be surprised to see this happen given how some people are being driven to the ends of their ropes. Absent that, the attitude is that you guys borrowed the money and its your problem if you can't pay it back.

    3. A good looking chick with shitty grades will walk into a big firm job faster than a guy at the top of the class. Let's explore both scenarios:

      1. Firm hires smart guy. Guy does good work, none of which is rocket science, and pervs at client's company who hold the purse strings don't get boners in meetings.

      2. Firm hires pretty girl. She also does good work, because it's not rocket science, but pervs at client's company fantasize about reaming her asshole.

      That's law firm hiring in a nutshell.

      Interestingly, it also works for staying at a firm for more than two years:

      1 - Ugly guy with great grades does good work. Boring. Fired after two years.

      2 - Pretty girl flirts with partners, clients, and makes every dude think he's a hair's width from an awesome blowy. Fired after five years.

      (3 - Smart chick quits after four years to "have children", after she's married a partner or a doctor.)

      Guys are such fucking losers, especially in law.

  12. Why didn't I just blow a 100k on sex, drugs and rock n' roll. At least that debt could be discharged.

    1. Well, in a way, you did blow 100K on all that....

      Were you not forcefully and repeatedly Socratimized during Civ Pro by a Prof using the big, thick Pennoyer opinion? Hell, it probably was the whole un-cut opinion from 1878. You begged him to slow down, but NO, he wouldn't. He said you were "unprepared."

      Were you not intellectually straight-jacketed by your Con Law prof, then philosophically undressed and forced to take in pages upon pages of 19th-century court opinions, only to be humiliated in front of the class? Was not your elastic clause sufficiently stretched?

      I found myself unable to ejaculate intelligently on Pierson v. Post when asked. And isn't Hadley v. Baxendale really about 'Who Got the Shaft?'


      Reading more than 2 sections of the UCC in one sitting --together with the Official Comments-- produces the exact same effects as low-grade weed. Bleary eyes, headache, and I wanna go to sleep.

      Sometimes you'd take several UCC hits to study Con Law, and Real Property is something akin to an acid trip. A bad one.

      Rock and Roll:

      "Now I'm breaking rocks in the hot sun. I studied Law and the Law won."

    2. If your law school was anything like mine, there's free booze to steal at the alumni soirees if you manage to sneak in with the help. Although do NOT register for those things. They will ruin your email address with donation hits, the bloodsuckers.

    3. civ pro prof was a Socratic method douche bag. 120k a year nonpublishing showing up at every meeting where free pizza was served jackoff. Can they come after me for nonpayment of student loans if I am in prison? Law School: Somebody Lied to You.

  13. I went through a lot of this (see How to be a Scamblogger). Life gets marginally better as one accepts reality and starts to think "outside" the cage of post-law school. But life will never return to pre-law school status.

    Good post - I'd love to read more!

  14. The public's stubborn belief in the now long-gone notion that Law School is professional school and that professionalism means an upper-middle-class occupation must be dismantled.

    There's a false equivalency in the public's mind between doctors and lawyers. Going to Med School makes you a doctor, so going to law school makes you a lawyer. It seems that most med school grads become practicing physicians in some form or fashion.

    "Law School doesn't necessarily lead to a job as a lawyer; it's simply the study of law."

    This simple sentence should be repeated by all students daily, perhaps as an amendment to the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Law School must be seen in the same vein as other liberal arts. Most people have long realized that

    a Poli-Sci degree makes you neither politician nor scientist

    an English degree doesn't make you an author/writer

    a History degree doesn't make you an historian

    and so on.

    Few would, or should go, into such debt for a liberal arts degree.

    Law School: It Ain't Worth It.

  15. So sorry for your terrible experience OP.

    Reading the other comments and other blog entries, it sounds like a lot of people are able to eventually sort of get on track after these things, often support from family or friends.

    I think it's important to note that the most disadvantaged students are less likely to have solid family support, relatives who are able to help them get jobs or let them work in the family business, etc. So, the more disadvantaged students are the ones who are going to take the longest to recover, or not recover at all.

    All the law deans droning on about "access" to law school for the underprivileged are totally ignoring the fact that the underprivileged are VULNERABLE.

    But, the Law Schools, in their majestic equality, are willing to charge the poor as well as the rich $120,000 for an unmarketable degree.

    1. This is the most egregious part of all. I don't have wealth to rely on, but I'm doing OK in a paycheck-to-paycheck fashion. But when the sub-T-14 start going on about "diversity" and "access", they really mean "more victims to fuel the machine."

      Indiana Tech and Infilaw, I'm looking at you.

    2. Totally agree. I'm all for diversity and all that, but let's be honest - if you are a minority and your family doesn't have the financial means to help you out when the going gets rough, i.e., you graduate with no job, need multiple attempts to pass the bar while supporting a child in a $1,500 per month apartment, etc., then one slight misstep can be the difference between living a middle class existence or living in a cardboard box. There's less room for error. I don't care if you're a minority or not, someone who wants to study law needs a back up plan and good family support to make it through to the end.

    3. Indiana wants me!

    4. Diversity. Is there any more odious word in the English language?

  16. Billionaire seeking unpaid intern

  17. How about this gem:

    "The Obama administration, under pressure from black college presidents and lawmakers, has made changes to the PLUS loan program that may help thousands of families qualify for the college financial aid."

    Why don't these guys keep their tuition under control so minority students don't have to use Plus loans? With Stafford and other options you could get about $25k per year which should be plenty... Nah they'll just raise their prices in lockstep with everyone else and make sure the government provides high interest loans to everyone.

    And I wonder how Indiana Tech is going? They should be due to open in a couple of weeks.

    1. They make it sound better by calling it "financial aid" but it is just more debt slavery, not actually helping people.

      Check out Matt Taibbi's article in the latest Rolling Stone. It is quite good.

    2. Matt Taibbi's article is very good. It is fairly emotional, but the time for being polite is past. This is an absolute national disgrace. Its time to start a campaign to get high school kids and their parents to not take out any student loans, under any circumstances. This is toxic debt, almost as bad as borrowing from the mafia.

      This will be hard, as the public have been taught that a college degree is a necessity for any semi-decent job, and there is some truth to that. But on the hand a degree doesn't guarantee anything anymore, and means far less than it once did.

    3. I wouldnt go so far as to say no one should ever take out student loans but it is past time that all higher ed applicants and their parents were given complete info about the realistic salary and employment outcomes of any program they consider, along with expected monthly student loan payments.

  18. u see this bullshit?

    William Henderson, an Indiana University law professor who has studied law school economics, predicts that the approach for law schools will be to "'hunker down, trim enrollment and costs, and ride out the storm.'

    "Odds are good that when the shrinking stops," he wrote on a law professors blog after attending a meeting of the ABA legal education task force earlier this year, that "law schools will look pretty much the same as they do today, only more expensive."

    1. This sounds the most plausible; there may be layoffs, but, ultimately, almost all the schools will remain. The pop-fly question is the ABA; if they keep the standards for accreditation, be what they may, some schools wont be able to pay bills with a very reduced number of students...

  19. I would add any incoming law school student must be prepared to go out there on your own with limited resources, and high state bar association regulatory costs. There are no guarantees of success, and expect a dog eat dog world whatever legal environment you work at.

  20. Overheard at a Law Faculty retreat:

    "Young solo pup,
    we F-ed you up!
    Let's have a party."