Tuesday, May 13, 2014

News Roundup: "We're Not Going Back To 2006"

Legal Jobs Picture: 'We're Not Going Back to 2006'
Money Quote:”Nearly 9 percent of associates at U.S. law firms were laid off in 2009 and some of them are still trying to make their ways back into fulltime law firm work.”

Bright Spots Amid Glum Jobs Outlook
Money Quote: “Law school enrollment was nearly 40,000 in the most recent year. The current entry-level legal market cannot support such large classes.”

Three Florida Law Schools Make Top Ten for Grads With Most Debt
Money Quote: “According to Elio Martinez Jr., a lawyer representing the students, the Florida Coastal grads are upset because they took on upward of $200,000 in loans under the mistaken assumption — propagated by Florida Coastal — that after they graduated, they would quickly gain employment in the legal profession.”

32 comments:

  1. Those law skules whose graduates are saddled with the highest average debt are in general the most mephitic of the toilets: Thomas Jefferson, Florida Coastal, Stetson, and the like. Cherchez l'erreur!

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    1. La logique would dictate that those who attend these schools are the least intelligent and the most likely to come from underprivileged backgrounds among all lemmings. In other words, the easiest marks. I've posted this term before but it bears repeating. The people running these places are sociopaths.

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    2. The three Florida law schools with the highest debt were Florida Coastal, Miami, and St. Thomas. Thomas Jefferson students have the highest debt in the nation. Stetson was mentioned as high debt but lower on the list. Reading is fundamental. (But they all have too much debt.)

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    3. And if you had read my comment correctly, 6:28, you might not have felt the need to post your snide remark.

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  2. "However, the dramatic decline in law school enrollment will benefit the entry-level job market, as there will be fewer graduating students to compete for the pool of available jobs. Projections show that about 37,000 students will start law school next fall, down by about 7 percent from last year."

    I'm not sure that benefits the market. There will be no more jobs, just fewer people who will never get a job that requires a law degree. The benefit is really to the lemmings who turned back before reaching the cliff.

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    1. It may appear at first glance to the uninitiated (or a lemming blinded by their "dream") that the drops in law school enrolments over the past few years should significantly increase employment prospects for current students. However the degree of overproduction is still so vast its not going to make any real difference. Its still a very bad idea to go to law school.

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    2. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
      Total number of legal jobs in 2012 = 759,800

      American Bar Association:
      Total number of licensed attorneys in 2012 = 1,268,011

      Bureau of Labor Statistics:
      Total added jobs 2012-2022 in law projected: 74,800

      Bureau of Labor Statistics:
      " Competition for jobs should continue to be strong because more students graduate from law school each year than there are jobs available."

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  3. With regard to the second article, it would be interesting to know what those ten schools' placement rates were thirty years ago. I would imagine that they were all damned near 100%

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    1. No because the top schools have many .1 percenters who would not have deigned to go the big law or clerkship route. At least 5 percent of my class at Columbia 40 years ago. These people would look like bad employment outcomes but they were just not going to the jobs that ordinary law school graduates covet. Many were not JD required jobs or full-time jobs, and that was exactly what these über prvileged persons wanted. There were plenty of jobs back then for people in that rarified social class

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    2. Yes, counting people who did not want jobs as employed. Like the super rich and supported wives in the law school class who were not getting big law or clerkship jobs.

      These T10 stats are bull in the sense that the jobs are fleeting. What happens next? Eventually temp work or being forced out of law entirely for many of these T10 grads. The biggest point, but the one the law schools don't tell you. Few would enroll in the T10 if the longitudinal stats for their grads were available.

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  4. There's an interesting point here that Leiter, Simkovic, and the scamdeans always manage to ignore. The surplus of lawyers from 2009, combined with massive ongoing overcredentialization at all levels of the law school scam, not only guarantees that most new JD's won't find jobs. It also changes the nature of the jobs obtained by the survivors. It depresses wages, eliminates them in the case of many "internships," and allows employers to abuse their powerless employees.

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    1. In terms of entry-level jobs, the surplus of JDs from prior years really doesn't matter. Entry-level jobs go to applicants from the most recent class (and to people who basically extended law school by doing clerkships or the like). If someone has been out for a year or more and hasn't yet had a JD-required job, he/she is basically invisible as far as law jobs go, and he/she will stay that way even if the job market miraculously improves. That's one reason why all those claims about the "lifetime" value of a JD are grossly misleading. If you don't get a law job within the first 12 months, you never will -- and your JD will have a lifetime value of zilch.

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    2. I think the unemployed JDs laid off since 2008 do affect unemployment rates for new JDs. Here's how it works: Lawyers get laid off in biglaw. Other lawyers hear about it. They become far more reluctant to quit whatever job they have. Those in biglaw are more willing to tolerate long hours or personal abuse. Those outside of biglaw realize they have more competition for better jobs, so they stay where they are. Either way, the unemployment backs up the pipes, so to speak, and affects the prospects for new JD graduates.

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  5. According to Susan Clark at Emory, "Some students even turned down positions in order to participate in the fellowship program."

    It looks like Emory did a good job of teaching some students to think like law professors. Not so good at thinking like lawyers.

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    1. I'd like to know who turned down a position in order to participate in that ratings-whoring scam. Was the "position" an unpaid "internship"? a part-time job at a coffee shop?

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    2. And if one turned down a position in 2012 and another in 2013 that would be "some students."

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  6. And as is always noted here but in few other places is that nobody has done a definitive study of what all those graduates are doing 5 years post-graduation.

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    1. Yes, and those people who are now crying that the nine months post-graduation stats are not informative are notably *not* seeking out their grads for follow-ups.

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    2. Five years would not be as bad as say 25 years. You are talking Harvard and Columbia Law grads forced out of law or working as temps or underemployed - in very high numbers as a percentage of their law school class

      No it is not that no one can guarantee that a top law degree will lead to success for everyone down the road. The truth is the longitudinal oversupply of highly trained lawyers guarantees that most of those T10 law grads will have terrible employment outcomes by the time they hit 25 years from graduation and in many cases much sooner

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    3. It is very important to address the long-term aspect of legal employment like 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, etc. Within 9 months of graduation seems to be the standard that law schools are fond of for their statistics as if once the boat is pushed from the dock, it will travel trans-global with no obstacles.

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    4. Do you know that there are about the same number of doctor jobs in the U.S. as there are lawyer jobs. It is 690,000 for doctors vs. 760,000 for lawyers. But these numbers understate the demand for doctors, as there is a shortage of primary care physicians, especially in rural areas and away from the coasts.

      However almost three times as many law students are graduated from ABA accredited law schools as from allopathic (MD degree granting) med schools. The numbers don't jive for lawyers - graduates, licensed, vs. jobs.

      The up or out policies of law firms were not as much of an experienced lawyer oversupply-creating force 20 years ago as they are today. Law firms routinely allowed their lawyers to stay on the job long enough to be placed in another comparable job with good opportunities 20 years ago. Today up or out is run with two months notice and the lawyer is on the street.

      There used to be ample numbers mid-sized law firms for lawyers to go to 20 years ago. Today it is all big firms that hire mostly very young lawyers and have active no-hire, no-retain policies for more experienced lawyers who apply to associate positions. Mid-sized firms are few and far between and hard to get jobs at.

      Counsel positions larger firms (over 40 lawyers for this purpose) are also few and far between and many of these are not permanent positions, but also subject to up or out.

      The opportunities for lawyers that are not subject to up or out policies have long been saturated by the up or out flood of displaced lawyers looking for jobs.

      In short, the experienced legal profession is a very ugly picture, even for graduates of the tippy-top law schools with the best records. There are lots of tippy-top law grads unemployed, underemployed and temping. It is all about severe lawyer oversupply.

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    5. keep hearing this, but where is the evidence?

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    6. 760,000 lawyer jobs in the US per BLS. No breakdown of temp or doc review which are included in the 760,000 number

      1.6 million law grads of ABA accredited schools. 1.25 million licensed lawyers.

      The largest law firm employers, comprising 120,000 of the highest paying law jobs running up or no hire no retain policies on all but a few older lawyers. Look at their websites if you don't believe this

      Look at ACC In House Jobline. Almost half the jobs in house are for temps and they do not have the doc review jobs on that site

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  7. re: "We're not going back to 2006": even in 2006, things weren't as good top to bottom as the law schools were making them out to be. The percentage of grads unable to find full-time, long-term legal jobs wasn't 50%, but it was still probably something like 25%.

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  8. Imagining The Open ToadMay 14, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    On the second of the three listed articles, "Bright Spots Amid Glum Jobs Outlook", I think Ms. Karen Sloan is to be strongly complimented for focusing on the one thing that matters for new grads - as she calls them, "true law jobs" - that is, bar required, full time, long term, and not school-funded.

    Still, I wish she would have been a little more incisive in her interview with Ms. Clark, who, appropriately enough, is the Associate Dean For Marketing and Chief Marketing Officer for Emory Law.

    If I had been interviewing Ms. Clark, I would have followed her slippery statement, "Some students have even turned down positions in order to participate in the fellowship program" with one, simple, question:

    "How very interesting. Please state for us how many students turned down such positions in favor of the fellowship and, of those, how many were full time, long term, bar passage required positions. Because I'm certain that an intelligent person like yourself would not have even mentioned that they "turned down positions" in this context if those positions declined were completely irrelevant to this conversation.

    Right?"

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    1. Associate dean for marketing? Chief marketing officer?

      Jesus H Christ.

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  9. Imagining The Open ToadMay 14, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    Also related to the second article by Ms. Sloan, note all the handy chart work linked in the article here:
    http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202651551482

    Send any law school aspirants you happen to meet to these charts.

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    1. The frightening part is the chart showing which schools are hiring the most of their own graduates to gin up the USNWR rankings. Back in my day some of those schools were seen as prestigious. Sickening. Absolutely sickening.

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  10. I would love to see a topic on the area of Law and Relationships. In my case, law made me more cynical, more pessimistic, more argumentative, which made me not as nice of a person to be around as before I went to law school. Is this typical? How many relationships fail through law school. How many divorces from once happily married people? How many breakups between lovers who used to get along? My girlfriend and I got along great . . we were even talking marriage . . until she went to law school. She went before I did so maybe I should have known better? Anyway, we made it almost through her first year before it was no longer worth trying. And now, having met up with her from time to time, she is nothing like she was then. She is far more of a "prestige" hound than in those days. Maybe this is the natural order of things, but I can't help thinking it is law that poisoned the well.

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    1. So sorry to read about that.

      Law school does change people. They think they're better and smarter than ever, but everyone else finds them increasingly defensive, self-centered, and clueless.

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    2. same in medicine, but the training is much longer and more damaging...

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  11. an acquaintance of mine, whom i have not seen in person since high school, graduated from Florida Coastal in 2013. he was healthy-skinny all his life. since graduation, he ballooned at least 30 pounds. he looks terrible.

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