Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Personal Story

It has been ten years since I graduated from law school and have been working in my "JD-Advantage" job.  I am nothing but grateful that I managed to stay employed during the Great Recession and its on-going aftermath, to be sure, given my seemingly precarious status as an early-40s Gen-Xer with the attendant responsibilities of a mortgage and family.  However, to point to law school as a ringing endorsement for my "success" is premature at best, and largely in spite of law school at the worst.  Of course, by going to a quad-T law school I did myself in to some degree, but those shiny brochures and smiling ScamDeans certainly told another tale about student outcomes even then, as we all know.

If you have followed my posts, you know that I used to be an engineer prior to law school.  I was school-debt-free, and making around $50k back on-or-about 1995, with reasonable yearly raises.  As you will see, my law school education dumped on a lot of debt with no real uptick in my starting salary, and there is nothing to suggest that my progression in my old career would have been worse.  If nothing else, I would still be education-debt-free, at a very reasonable salary, with no missed opportunity costs.

When I was hired into my JD-Advantage job, after extensive networking, researching, and informational interviews, I stared out at (wait for it) $55k.  In 2005.  While $55k is nothing to sneeze at given the deplorable outcomes for many JD graduates, my law degree did not catapult me forward as the ScamDeans and shiny brochures would suggest...in fact, it slammed my butt back ten years to 1995, plus debt.  I thought that shiny JD was supposed to be remunerative and versatile...?  

Anyway, when I graduated in 2005, my law school debt stood approximately as follows (more below the fold):

Federal: $71,000.00 at 2.65%, 30 yr. graduated
Private 1: $16,000.00 at 4.82%, 15 yr.
Private 2: $5,000.00         at 2.33%, 12 yr.
Private 3: $42,500.00 at 3.00% (approx.), 15 yr.

Total $134,500.00


You will notice first-off that my rates are low, and nowhere near what a graduate in 2015 can hope to obtain.  While the private loans are variable, the Great Recession did me the "favor" of bringing my loans down to the 3% range, on average, for the last seven years or so.  I do expect them to bump up a bit in the near future given Janet Yellen's recent discussions.  My monthly loan payments have been approximately $800/month.

As of 2015, my law school debt stands approximately at:

Federal: $65,900.00  
Private 1: $11,900.00
Private 2: $700.00
Private 3: $20,300.00

Total: $98,800.00

I have therefore paid down $35,700.00 on my principal balance, but when taking interest into account I have paid approximately $100,000.00.  Let that sink in for a minute.  Think of what you could do with an extra hundred grand saved up.  Pay off a house?  Add to a child's education fund?  A nice car and a vacation, with lots to spare?

Nope, all gone.  Debt service.  My Boomer forebears paid around $5,000 for their law school education in contrast, which in 2015 dollars is around $20,000.00.  And I thank the many "honest Boomers" who comment here and similar sites elsewhere who offer up this information and who advise their children to do anything but law school, as it helps paint an accurate picture compared to today.  One really could pay off their law school debt in 5-10 years, decades ago.  Now, due to outrageous tuition increases during that period at twice the rate of inflation (in part due to "dishonest" Boomers) I have paid off that debt and then some, thank  you very much, with much more to go.  

Slacker Gen-Xers, amirite?  Go get a damn job, or "network", or something.  Pay your bills, deadbeat.

Luckily, I received small raises along the way, just like my prior engineering job.  So, on to a rough monthly budget:

Income after taxes,benefits: $5,100.00
Mortgage/proptaxes/HOA: $2,000.00
Home/car insurance: $100.00
Loans:  $800.00
Utilities:          $200.00
Phone/Internet:         $200.00
Public transportation costs: $175.00
Groceries:         $500.00
Other revolving debt (thanks, law school): $500.00

Remaining per month        $625.00

I won't go into my 2005-2010 budgets, as they were truly zero-sum if not negative.  And I only joined the ranks of fabulous homeowners two years ago (for the school district).

So, in essence, I have been paying an additional 15% "education tax" every month on my net income, for ten years, due to the glory of law school, with miles to go before I sleep.  Of course, child care, child expenses, home repairs, car maintenance, dry cleaning, clothes, etc. etc. all come out of that remaining $625.00, but hey, if you were single and lived like a spartan, maybe you could bank it all.  Also, health care is another consideration, but that is too individual to try to account for.  Maybe if you never get sick, you can bank that $625.00.  Oh, and I drive a 14 year old car and try to keep it limping along, just like the stereotype on jdunderground.

The point being is that $625.00 net "goes fast," and not due to going on extravagant vacations or buying a new flat-screen TVs every month.  Also, my spouses income ($35k gross) and school debt of her own ($60k at 7.8%) does influence this equation, but when you add up all of the plusses and minuses, it doesn't affect the outcome as much as you would think.

I say all this not to wallow in self-pity or to say that I am a suffering saint, but to try to paint a picture for all contemplating law school.  ScamDeans and tenured LawProfs all say "go on IBR," (this doesn't help private loans and ignores marriage) and "the market is improving," and "now is a great time to go to law school," while easily clearing twice what it has taken me ten years to achieve in terms of real income.  They don't break down the nuts and bolts while shilling for law school.  They don't go into how tuition costs continue to escalate, for no reason but profit.  

Granted, we could all quibble with my numbers (e.g. you could "live somewhere else" and shave $150/mo. off your mortgage [although, per Simkovic, the point of going to law school is to avoid living in toxic neighborhoods],  you could "eat less" and save $100/mo., you could deduct x and y and shave $750.00 off your Gross Income calculation, etc. etc. etc.), but the take-home here is that law school debt matters, and will significantly affect you.   And some troll will always say "hey, you don't need electricity" or some such nonsense.  Or I could move to Nebraska, but that would involve me losing my current job and starting over, yet again.  

I was "lucky" in that my interest rates are low and my starting debt was in the low $100k range...graduate debt now runs at approximately 8%, or twice that of what I am currently laboring under, with a higher starting cost to boot.  And IBR is a short-term fix anyway.  If one's career progresses "as it should," then you would get priced out of IBR, and then all of a sudden that success looks a lot more tarnished.  If you actually care about your family, you won't try to "stay on IBR" anyway as that locks you into an income level that makes it even harder to provide for yourself and others.  And of course, we have been ignoring undergraduate debt, which is not a safe assumption anymore.  My equation "looks good" compared to what many, many others are facing in 2015, but again, that is not a ringing endorsement for law school.

As we have always said on OTLSS and other venues, if you have backing, get into a good school, have no debt, and come out of law school  making $160k in BIGLAW, then indeed, yes, law school may be for you.  Even if you only keep BIGLAW for a few years.  For the remaining 90% or so without these advantages, its not a great deal.

104 comments:

  1. Everyone should read this several times.

    It is how it is, and the debt burden will have a seriously adverse, life-long impact.

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    1. Hola! Is there a way to contact the author of this blog privately? I love your blog and have some info about a certain law school that might be of interest to you...you've written about this school before.

      Delete
  2. Duped...your numbers, age, and experience are very similar to mine. I make sure that my law school knows about my situation. I give them my numbers and experiences post grad every chance I get....just so I can throw their bs right back at them. I suggest you do the same. Let them know...,

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    1. Why bother, @9:33, why bother? The scamdeans and lawprofs know very much what they are doing. They also know that they'll be very unemployable should they ever lose their cushy, no-work-worthy-of-the-name situations. You might as well try to reason with a cornered wild animal. Desperate self-preservation knows no reason
      or empathy.

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    2. That is so true at 7:24. At this point the deans and profs are like cornered animals. Obese but starving animals. And ironically, their excuse may be that they have payments to make. For new cars, for vacation homes, whatever. But it isn't like they care that their students will also have payments to make.

      Delete
  3. Duped, your story is very similar to mine, except I entered school just as you were graduating. Thanks for sharing (with numbers).

    When I entered law school in 2005 I was making $75K/year as an engineer, but with little reason to expect much in the way of career growth other than yearly COL increases. (I could have switched companies and made more but I would have had to move and uproot my family.)

    I also went to a Toilet and expected to practice patent law. I reasonably expected that by investing in myself and with what I thought was a decent job market, I could make a sustained jump to a low 6 figure income. I did reasonably well in law school, did extracurricular activities, etc, networked from the beginning, etc.

    The Toilet (Chicago-Kent) produced blatantly false employment statistics. It cost me $90,000 of tuition to attend and I lost out on at least $225,000 of income.

    You at least did better after law school. It took me two years to find my "JD Advantage" job and in the meantime I had to scrounge income by selling stuff on Craigslist, doing doc review, and working for various sweatshops.

    The only thing that made this two year period somewhat endurable was knowing how many of my fellow graduates were in the same boat as me. I would estimate at least 40-50% of the people I graduated with in the "patent track" are not employed as attorneys.

    So I'm doing OK now, grateful for the job I have, and can look back on my years of depression and Zoloft without breaking into a sweat. I have accustomed myself to basically living as cheaply as possible and am saving as much as I can. I drive a Hoopdie, do most repairs myself, do all the upkeep on my home, etc. I haven't bought new clothes in 2 years.

    But there's no doubt I f*cked up. Law school has been the worst decision of my life. It will delay the years until I retire and has cost me 3 years and $315,000. Since I'm in my early 40s now, I'm far too old for any law firm to take a chance on hiring me. Hell, even when I was 35, I think I was probably too old for most medium to large law firms. The damage that has been done has altered my brain chemistry (see a very insightful Atlantic article on this from 3 years ago).

    The place I'm at now will never take me on as an attorney and there's zero chance of me ever making more than I am now. If I had stayed as an engineer I would at least have had a chance of becoming a director or specialist of some kind, making in the $140,000 range.

    So yeah, I'm not inclined to regard the LawProfe$$ors and the Law school Establishment with anything else than contempt. In fact, I would love to engage in a face to face shouting match with these scum.

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    1. I did the same thing as you and duped. Its a crime what law schools do. At least the information is out there now. Dont go. No matter your age. I wish my sin had been running up consumer debt. At least that can be discharged. Pray pslf is not removed.

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  4. Excellent post. It should be required reading for anyone even *thinking* about law school (and his or her parents).

    (And thanks for the nod to "honest boomers," although I'm not as honest as I ought to be.)

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  5. Student debt really is toxic. You end up being hamstrung for many of the best years of your life because of the tens of thousands you're paying back. The professorial class grows fat off the dollars, but other sectors of the economy suffer because people who should be able to use services can't. Meanwhile, schools jack up tuition so they can get at more of those sweet, sweet loan dollars.

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  6. Duped,

    I was also an engineer before law school (CS background). Even with my very positive outcome, law school was not worth it.

    I make low six figures and I have no debt because I went to a TTT on almost full scholarship, but almost every single one of my friends from engineering out earns me. That means I lost three years of engineering income plus the difference in what I make now versus what I would have made in engineering.

    That's another feature of the scam, they'll slug an outcome like mine to establish that law school increased my earning potential (looking at it from a vacuum), without mentioning that I would have likely made the same if not more (without any Opportunity and education cost) staying in tech. I also would have had more (not a lot more) job security.

    It's a ridiculous and metamorphosizing scam. The lies are ceaseless. I have 8 years of experience in IP law (patents), and there are very, very, very few jobs out there. If lose my mid law job, I am fucking toast. Yet, every scamdean, and even some of the main newspaper publications that have been generally honest, keep saying that IP is some boon field. It isn't. The market is flooded with patent lawyers, absolutely flooded. There are so many out of work engineers and scientists that they view IP law as a way out, but they are basing this decision, ie thinking the filed is what it was 15 years ago, not what it is today.

    Patent law is basically the same as all other law, with just a mild degree of latitude. In other words, you better go to a T14 or kill it at a Lowe ranked school and get big law if you hope to survive.

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    1. Yeah. I'm lucky enough to be making $105k in a JD Advantage job and I thank my lucky stars everyday that I have a job. If i lost it I would be fuc$ed.

      Delete
  7. It's funny how Boomers will mock non-college grads for being "lazy" and tell them to go to school and "invest" in their future.

    But to the college grads, the Boomers scream "why did you take out that debt, are you stupid?" and "stop being so entitled, why do you deserve a higher salary just because you got an education and are in debt?"

    Truly it is a lose-lose situation, double jeopardy, there is no right answer. Boomers on the whole are a narcissistic and corrupt generation. There are good ones of course, but they are a minority and get shouted down by the moronic majority.

    I suspect at some point the government will refuse to pay out on SS and medicare, and will tell the Boomers they're on their own. It is at that point much of the younger generations will remember the mock and scorn they received when the Boomers were in a stronger position, and will refuse to do a thing for the Boomers in return. After 20-30 years of that new laws will again be made to prevent old people from eating cat food to survive off of in poverty.

    Such is the way of life, especially when you trust fiat money and large government, rather than family values and the family structure. Boot your kids out of the home when they're weak and refuse to support them, and then in turn will refuse to allow you into theirs when you are weak.

    My family is no exception, I too was told I was on my own. Who knows if I will swallow my resentment in the future? I suspect most will not.

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    1. "Law professors" and deans tell students "to go on IBR" because they don't give a damn about their graduates or the taxpayers.

      Delete
    2. @203,

      Well that's a new one. Which "Boomers" told you to "go to school"? Your parents? Anyone else?

      I wouldn't have told you to do that - I would've just told you to fucking join the Army or something. You'd refuse, naturally.

      Naturally.

      Delete
    3. Sorry you got kicked out of the house. I hope you didn't deserve it.

      Whatever happened to you personally, I don't think it justifies the hatred and abuse you're trying to propagate on this blog. In fact, your preoccupation with your own situation is characteristic of a narcissist. It's pathetic but comical that you'd try to pin that label on anyone but yourself.

      Delete
    4. @240

      People here are telling their story to help others make better choices. Why are you trying to shut these voices down with your pathetic trolling? What exactly are you getting out of it?

      Delete
    5. @ 711

      Some psycho ranting about Boomers eating cat food does NOT help anyone make better choices. I'm trying to fight the law school scam, not support your paranoid world view.

      As always, if you get a job you'll feel better about yourself. The mostly sane posters here can't possibly stroke and cuddle you enough to make you feel important without one.

      Delete
    6. Kindly return to the subject. There is no call for personal attacks.

      Delete
  8. Ugh, this sounds ridiculously familiar.

    I went to a T1 school back in 2006-2009. I was making about 80k a year as a programmer. I thought I would get low six figures upon graduation doing patent work. Networked my way into a sweet job that got yanked right before graduation because recession.

    Spent the next 3-4 years doing shitlaw (crim defense and divorce mostly) and watching my finances slip into the shitter, my house go into foreclosure, etc. Shit was depressing.

    I eventually said "fuck it" and went back to engineering. Now I'm earning mid-low six figures doing programming again. I still owe about 70k, but I expect to be debt free in a few years.

    I would like nothing more than to see the entire scam implode and bring the same financial enrichment to my former professors that law school brought to me and my classmates. I hope they end up living in boxes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for going public with your story, and I share your sentiments.

      The real problem with the scammers is that legally, they cant possibly share your poverty. If they lose their plush jobs and default on their refinanced McMansions, they can always declare bankruptcy. With so much less to lose, they focus on keeping the money rolling in when they should be looking for productive employment.

      Delete
    2. With few exceptions, law-school scamsters were born into the aristocracy. They exude a sense of entitlement and don't even understand, for example, that someone might need to make money.

      During my first year of law school, I asked for help with finding a job for the summer. Response: "You don't need to worry about that so soon! Spend your summer vacation traveling all over France!" I was dumbfounded. It turned out that that scamster thought that I wanted a job in order to build up my résumé. But I wanted one primarily for the money.

      Her attitude, by the way, was also common among the students, several of whom were astonished to learn that I had to work throughout the year and could not afford the luxuries that they enjoyed as a matter of course (flights all over the world, sometimes just to attend someone's wedding or graduation ceremony; $2500 car stereos; $400 hockey tickets; transoceanic yachting trips in the middle of the semester).

      Delete
  9. Ugh, this sounds ridiculously familiar.

    I went to a T1 school back in 2006-2009. I was making about 80k a year as a programmer. I thought I would get at least low six figures upon graduation doing patent work. I did well in school (no law review though) and networked my way into a sweet job that got yanked right before graduation because recession. That was the closest I got to patent work.

    Spent the next 3-4 years doing shitlaw (crim defense and divorce mostly) and watching my finances slip into the shitter, my house go into foreclosure, etc. Shit was depressing.

    I eventually said "fuck it" and went back to engineering. Now I'm earning mid-low six figures doing programming again. I still owe about 70k, but I expect to be debt free in a few years.

    I would like nothing more than to see the entire scam implode and bring the same financial enrichment to my former professors that law school brought to me and my classmates. I hope they end up living in boxes.

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    Replies
    1. This is painful to read, because I talked to people like you in the 2009-10 classes. People who graduated from great schools and saw their offers to biglaw or "biggish" boutiques get deferred, deferred, deferred, and in many cases eventually entirely withdrawn. (One guy I spoke to eventually did manage to start at Winston & Strawn after about 16 months of deferrals, and is still there so far as I know (abt 2 years ago), after considering inter alia various sub-40K jobs including one "in-house" patent attorney job that was about 46K in podunkville, but which position that small company eventually decided to kill as well).

      Delete
  10. A great post which should be required reading at colleges across the country.

    Thank you for your clear-eyed telling the truth. This is needed now more than ever because law-school shills are once again launching into the "This is a Great Time to Go to Law School" song and dance.

    The only way it can possibly be a 'Good time to go to Law School' is if you're about to board Dr. Emmett Brown's time machine and travel back to good old 1955.

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    Replies
    1. what about 1985? just curious.

      Delete
    2. 1955 would give a person a 50-year or so career. 1985 would leave a K-12-er dead in the water in their mid 50s

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    3. Anyone considering law school in 2015 is either being pressured by parents or grandparents, or hopelessly naive. Or both. Gotta get back in time to have a future.

      Find something else.

      Delete
  11. Well, you summarily dismiss all criticism in advance - but tell me, why DID you borrow so much fucking money? Hmmm?

    If law school was too expensive, you always could have chosen not to go.

    But I guess that fast-talking salesman's pitch must have literally had your head spinning, AMIRITE?

    Did you know what the payments would be? Did you calculate it? Did you even read the loan papers before you signed them? Or was it "our" job to read them for you?

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    Replies
    1. I agree, even in the early 2000's, it was a huge mistake for Duped to take on that kind of dept to attend a 4th tier shit hole. But here's the thing dickhead, Duped has paid for his mistake to the tune of an $800 check every month for the past ten years with many more years of this to follow. He's not whining. He's just trying to warn others against repeating his mistake. Understand shitbird? Meanwhile, what price does the law school cartel pay for their fraudulent conduct - the price of which will ultimately be picked up by the taxpayer? You're a real asshole 5:35.

      Delete
    2. Well fuckhead, the loan papers i signed had bk protections but in 1998 the powers that be took bk protections away and did so retroactively. Of course assholes like you don't want to hear that....you know..the truth. Won't even get into the fact that schools were lying about employment and salary outcomes back then as well.

      Delete
    3. @816,

      So you were already planning to declare "bankruptcy" all along - even when you signed the loan documents? Is THAT what you are saying?

      I know it's a stupid question, but did you EVER intend to pay the money back? It sure doesn't sound like it ...

      Naturally, I assume that you have steadfastly refused to go on IBR, too, since THAT wasn't in your 1998 "loan papers," either - right?

      LOL

      Delete
    4. @726,

      Oh, boo fucking hoo. I doubt that a law school said ANYTHING to most of you - "fraudulent" or otherwise.

      Face it, dude - most of you sold YOURSELVES on the idea of a sweet three-year vacation from reality. Now it's time to pay the fucking bill.

      And it sure sounded like whining to me.

      Delete
    5. @5:35

      Whether law school was too expensive or not at the time depends not only on the absolute cost but also on the expected return. And regarding the latter, there is definitely a great deal of deception and fraud on the side of the law schools, especially back then.

      This doesn't absolve the student from all responsibility. But it does at least put substantial responsibility on the LS scammers and also the govt providing lending to the scammers so freely.

      BTW, your "caveat emptor" defense if law schools isn't exactly novel. It's no different than Bernie Madoff types shifting all the blame on the marks while ignoring the fact that they perpetrated the scam in the first place.

      It doesn't mean the marks are blameless. It does mean though that this total blame shifting is a complete farce and won't fool anyone.


      Delete
    6. No, most law school flameouts weren't talked into it. They talked themselves into it based on the perceived prestige of the profession. In the worst and most delusional cases, they added to their calculations the extra special prestige of attending an "elite" law school. And they continue to brag about their extra special prestige even while pretending that they were deceived.

      Delete
    7. Yes it's true there were a lot of naive marks. For the more recent marks, I am less sympathetic as much more info is now widely available.

      But this was clearly not the case, especially at the time of OP.

      If lack of info and law school deception are irrelevant as you claim, then why exactly has law school apps novedised suddenly?

      The answer is obvious. Thanks to blogs like this and lots of articles in the MSM, that info is now available about the true nature of the outcome of most law school grads and law school deception is much less effective.

      The OP and most others here BTW are not whining or refusing to pay when they can. The OP is able to and is paying $800/month for decades to come. But for others, you can't pay what you don't have. This is no different than any other debtor and I see no reason to treat law school debt any differently.

      BTW why are you against the OP and others telling their stories and warning others NOT to follow in their footsteps. As taxpayers that's exactly what we want to happen so people aren't failing to repay debt b/c they avoided it in the first place!

      Unless of course you are a scammer that wants to silence people like the OP so you can scam more marks.





      Delete
    8. @ 9:14

      The idea of "escaping reality" might be true for some art major who couldn't get work and thought LS was a way forward. But if you bothered to read the OP and others, that was clearly NOT the case. These were people who already succeeded with a decent job and thought a JD would lead to even greater success and were fooled due to lack of info at the time.

      Unfortunately for the OP, there wasn't anyone like the OP warning him about the risk. Heck the internet itself was in its infancy. But fortunately for today, someone reading this will understand the risk and not go down the same path.

      Instead of complaining about OP "whining", you should applaud him for helping out others with his story. Unless of course, you actually want more low information marks available to be scammed.


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    9. All the data at the time I went (mid 2000s) suggested that I was heading towards a healthy hiring market and it was really only a choice between going biglaw, midlaw or patent boutique.

      I graduated at the beginning of the crisis and initially assumed I was doing badly because of the temporary downturn... but things never got better. Then you finally piece together that patent law hiring has kind of been in the shitter since the mid 90s. People either succeed at it or they drop out and you never hear their horror stories. The only people who have any sort of institutional memory of this side of things are the executive recruiters and they mostly want to butter people up and encourage them to keep applying. The few honest ones I encountered saved me a lot of agony in the long run.

      One other thing is that a lot of attorneys lie to themselves and to others about how well they're doing. It's only after you are in the field for a while and get to know people that you can begin to read between the lines to see the desperation and misery. The lucky attorneys who managed to land a patent job in the 80s and stayed with it for the past 30 years can give you perfectly valid career advice, assuming you have a time machine to take back to when they graduated so you can have 30 years experience in todays market. Of course, even these guys have no clue what the hiring market is like because they haven't looked for work since before computer mice were a thing normal people knew about.

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    10. I see the law school shills are adopting the sophisticated consumer tack. People should have known better than to take out six figures in debt...nevermind that the legal job market has been weak for decades and nobody has talked about it until recently. Back in 2002, nobody would have really doubted that it was a worthwhile investment.

      Delete
    11. FYI, I deleted two responses to this thread, which I believe were from 9:14.

      You're free to express whatever opinion you want, but polluting the page with regurgitated, belligerent garbage will leave you subject to deletion.

      Delete
    12. From the OP: "I say all this not to wallow in self-pity or to say that I am a suffering saint, but to try to paint a picture for all contemplating law school."

      "And some troll will always say "hey, you don't need electricity" or some such nonsense."

      Prescience on the part of the OP and reading comprehension FAIL on the part of the 9:14 troll. That troll prejudges everything and decides based solely on what the voices in his head tell him, not the evidence of what other people actually say.

      I'm sure he makes a great LawProf.

      Delete
    13. @10:24,

      If the debt-strapped assholes on this site had any of that "reading comprehension" themselves, maybe they wouldn't have signed all those loan documents in the first place.

      What do you think?

      Delete
    14. I don't have a penny of debt to my name. I might be posse about my Scama Mater claiming 90% employment and a starting salary in the very high five figures, but you can't claim that I'm moaning about debt because I don't have any.

      Delete
    15. @5:42,

      If the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn't - DON'T.

      You claim that you "don't have a penny of debt." LOL, but do you have a penny of income? Since you are responding to my comment, I assume that you ARE the one who was commenting at 10:24 am on a weekday, right? Do you work at all? I'm just reading between the lines here.

      LOL, is THAT enough "reading comprehension" for you?

      Delete
    16. I assume that you ARE the one who was commenting at 10:24 am on a weekday

      Incorrect.

      Do you work at all?

      Nah, man. Don't you know the trades? All stonemasons play video games all day and do their stonework using telekinetic powers.

      I'm just reading between the lines here.

      You might want to work on that skill some more.

      Delete
  12. This is important reading for all future law students. Another thing to keep in mind is that almost all law professors have no experience with the real world, and so know absolutely nothing about these sorts of problems. If law professors had actually spent some time working, maybe they could empathize and things would change a bit.

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    Replies
    1. I find it endlessly amusing when morally depraved law professors make legal threats against normal people. Usually the threats themselves reveal the astonishing depth of a given professor's ignorance of the law. It's deliciously ironic that certain professors, especially those obsessed with defamation, are able to damage their own reputations nearly every time they stroke the alluring keys of their laptops.

      Delete
  13. "In the time that’s allotted to us to in life, we have to make many choices. Opting to pursue an unmarketable career solely because one loves it is an available option. But that decision has consequences. In a university system like ours, where supply and demand are distorted, many promising young people make rash decisions with an inadequate understanding of their long-term implications. Even for people like me, who succeed despite the odds, it’s possible to look back and realize we’ve worked toward a disappointment, ending up as “winners” of a mess that damages its participants more every day.

    Had I known sooner, I would’ve given up on this shrinking side of academia many years ago, saving myself plenty of grief while conserving the most valuable quantity of all: time. No one should have to wait so long or sacrifice so much of it for a system like this. Time is money, and we must spend it wisely. Until something is done — something that isn’t just a quick fix, something that looks long and hard at the structure of the present university system and tears it up from the foundation, if that’s what it takes — the academy is no longer an investment of time worth making.

    Oliver Lee is an attorney and assistant professor of history."


    http://www.mindingthecampus.org/2015/09/academic-work-may-not-be-worth-your-time-or-effort/

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think I was somewhat fortunate to have a successful career before doing law school. I went through the dot com boom and the bust afterwards as a software engineer, I know what good and bad job markets look like first hand.

    During the dot com boom, anyone who could program could get hired as a programmer- credentials and professional experience be damned. Not only didn't they care what school you went to- they didn't even care if you took programming classes. They were desperate for warm bodies who could produce code. If you had some talent and work ethic, you could get ahead very quickly in terms of responsibility and pay. Work environments were intense but laid back, with plenty of perks, good pay and flexible hours. If you didn't like a job, you could just go get a new one at the drop of a hat and it wasn't a stressful experience. I imagine this is what it must have felt like to be a young attorney in the 1970s.

    Then when the crash hit, the hiring market turned around completely, becoming an almost perfect imitation of the current attorney job market. Tons of out of work engineers chasing a small number of jobs. Job requirements got ridiculous, no one would respond to resumes and there was a quick (but temporary) race to the bottom in terms of salaries.The difference is that the dot com bust was a temporary situation due to thousands of companies going out of business at the same time- once the dust settled, there was still plenty of demand for programmers in the companies that eventually replaced them. With attorneys, the problem has been building up for several decades on the supply side and until a few years ago, no one was even aware it was happening.

    Anyway, it seems pretty obvious to me that the "normal" for attorneys is a really bad job market. You have shit work at shit pay and there's about a million people in line to steal your job if you step out of line in the slightest. Coming from 80k+ a year for 40 hours a week of programming, it came as a huge shock to have to spend 60+ hours a week doing constant trial prep with lying scumbag clients and opposing counsel.... and all for about 50k a year. And this was considered a good job. Then I looked at the guys who were 2-3 decades higher up the food chain... and I found out a lot of them were not even netting six figures. At first I was kind of in denial because I didn't want to believe I had wasted 3 years in school followed by 4 years practicing to win a ticket to a shit eating contest... but then I just decided that life was too short to waste on practicing law and went back to coding.

    ReplyDelete
  15. If it were not for Nando and Campos, this would have been me. But I'm not writing to pat myself on the back.

    You see, initially, not going to law school left me feelings of regret and remorse. And I hemmed and hawed about going for several years after that (dumb sh*t that I am).

    But, those feelings go away. You move on in your career and your life, and you realize that no one cares that you didn't go to law school, and you realize that you are in much better financial, mental and physical shape than if you went. In short, you realize that you made the best choice in not going.

    So, for all of you who didn't go and are feeling perhaps a little wistful: take heart. Those feelings go away, and rest assured, you made the right choice.

    Wouda been a SuperDupedNonTraditional LawSchool Victim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great comment.

      Possible regret is a very important issue. As you mention, people can and do move on. Nontrads especially aren't missing anything by not going. Except for debt, which carries its own regret.

      Delete
  16. You could say almost all of these same things about veterinary schools who continue to follow right behind the law schools with almost the same arguments about how wonderful a career is in veterinary medicine. Both law and veterinary medicine used to be respected professions that you could build a career and life upon. As a veterinarian crushed by the recession and watching the rise in places at veterinary school with no real rise in salaries and declining quality, I am out and hoping to build a career in the cleaning business - owning a laundromat, washing and folding, while watching the machines go round and around with their pleasing hum.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Do they try to sell veterinary school using "But...but...but...STEM shortage" as an argument? I mean, "law" sounds businessy and respectable, but "veterinary medicine" sounds all scientific and stuff, and we all know how skilled STEM jobs are the wave of the future. And there's unserved demand for veterinary medicine! Just yesterday I saw a deer that couldn't afford good medical care and was forced to hobble along with a bad leg. Clearly we need to graduate a few thousand more veterinary grads with tens/hundreds of thousands of debt, and Bambi will finally have a doctor.

      Delete
    2. Much as law draws in scads of lemmings who see themselves drawing a fat salary for hobnobbing with celebrities, protecting dolphins against oil companies, or negotiating with diplomats over champagne and caviar, veterinary medicine draws in scads of lemmings who see themselves drawing a fat salary for playing with puppies.

      Delete
    3. Old Guy: Not just law and veterinary medicine, but EVERY field attracts fools who see only the attractive, fantasy side of such a career. Law attracts greedy SOB's, veterinary medicine attracts airheads who think they'll get to play with adorable animals all day, and so on and so on.
      In fact, I recently asked a lifelong friend of mine (who's an animal vet herself) if she ever saw younger people try to get into her field for all the wrong reasons, anyone who thought they'd get to play with puppies and kittens all day. She confirmed it. (Somehow, I doubt any of these airheads see themselves shoving their arm up an equine's or bovine's posterior, let alone would want to do that.)

      Delete
    4. Yes, that's true. Much of veterinary work involves smelly livestock, not cuddly kitties. But veterinary lemmings don't think of that. Similarly, law-school lemmings don't turn their minds (such as they are) to small-time divorces, real-estate closings, document review, defense against traffic tickets, and other unglamorous but mainstream aspects of legal practice. Au contraire, every one of them sees herself in "entertainment law", "aerospace law", "international law", "animal rights", or some other sexy but essentially fictitious specialty.

      Delete
  17. At least professors of veterinary medicine to a large degree seem to appreciate and have some personal experience with the types of jobs their students want after graduation, in contrast to law professors who for the most part are holed up in ivory towers with very little (and sometimes great disdain) for actual lawyering and legal practice. Law school doesn't exist to train lawyers or provide a way for students to secure good jobs. Instead, they are mere playgrounds for academics to do research and write papers on completely useless topics that have only the slightest connection to the law, let alone legal practice. The whole legal education system needs to be completely revamped.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is true. Some law professors don't even have legal training themselves. One such ass at my law school didn't know the difference between assault and battery—something that I had looked up in an ordinary dictionary back in high school.

      And most law professors exude disdain for practice. Their scholarshit has to be utterly useless to bar and bench. Writing something useful for the practice of law is a great way to ruin an application for tenure.

      Delete
    2. This is on point. It's ridiculous that most professors don't have a shred of real experience or even appreciate the jobs that students want to get after graduation. This fact alone seems to reveal just how absurd the whole system is. Such a scam.

      Delete
    3. Those professors got clerkships and internships by going to Top 10 schools and utilizing their networks. Then they tell their own students at Denver, Seton Hall, or wherever to create their own networks and get real legal jobs. It's the height of hypocrisy and exploitation.

      And no, you creepy trolls out there, Michael Simkovic isn't a boomer.

      Delete
    4. So true. And they don't try networking for students, either because they don't want to or don't have connections outside of the ivory tower.

      Delete
  18. Thanks, Duped Non-Traditional, for sharing your story. Your candid disclosure and sound analysis are a real public service. The same goes for Tricia Dennis, whose generous revelations about the difficulty of running a solo practice even after some thirty years should give pause to any prospective law student.

    One important point that you were too modest to make is that you are a damn sight better than the name of your law school would suggest. Most of your classmates would not have found "JD advantage" work or a position in engineering or any other job generating enough income to cover even your loans, which, as you pointed out, are lower in prinicipal and interest than those that are typical today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words. And yet, despite my pleading, showing her the data and guiding her to this and other websites, I was unable to stop my own sister in law from starting Northern Illinois' law school as a non-traditional ( upper 40 year old) student, with no connections and a 12 year old son on student loans. In some people, there is a bright, hard spot of delusions all the reason in the world cannot penetrate.

      Delete
    2. If she still insists after all that, she's properly fucked and doesn't really deserve any sympathy. Still, it really sucks to see someone ruin themselves like that. If not for her sake, for her kid, who is not going to have anyone to rely on if he runs into any financial difficulty as a young adult.

      A single mom in her 40s is probably not in great financial shape to begin with. She's going to be adding a huge mountain of debt on top of that so that she can enter a shitty job market that even at the best of times hates anyone over 25 at the entry level. These would be hard barriers even if she went to a good school. Sure, she can hang her own shingle, but she'll quickly find that every dingy niche in the legal profession has a dozen experienced attorneys already gnawing away at the bones. I remember being amazed at how bad things got after 2008 with so many attorneys fighting to get wheel cases (fee-per-case criminal and dependency work that pays very poorly and keeps paying worse every year). 20 years ago, you could get rich on wheel work (no one was doing it and it payed as good as regular work). 5-10 years ago you could pay all the bills with it. These days you better have a side job if you want to keep lights on.

      It's been a long race to the bottom and a lot of people haven't given up digging yet. Your sister is an idiot to pick up a shovel at this point.

      Delete
    3. Ouch. She's consigning herself to a life of poverty and misery.

      Delete
    4. Oh, that's a real pity, Tricia. I hope that things will work out for your sister-in-law, but I have grave doubts. Even the U of Chicago would have been a poor gamble under those circumstances, and Northern Illinois is just downright foolish.

      Each of us was fed, with mother's milk, the lie that "you can be anything you want to be". It wasn't true even in the baby boomers' youth, and it certainly isn't true today. Despite that lie, most people know that they never had a chance of becoming major-league athletes or concert pianists or astronauts or senators; yet becoming a lawyer strikes them as attainable. Well, that depends on what one means by becoming a lawyer. In this day of open admissions and undemanding exams (complete with a whole industry of bar-review courses to drag even the ill-prepared through), just about anyone can "become a lawyer" in the minimal sense of obtaining a license to practice law. But few lemmings have such modest ambitions. The desire to "become a lawyer" usually entails expectations of stable employment, high income, high status, and glamorous work—and, no, not just anyone can achieve that.

      Like Duped Non-Traditional, I used to be an engineer. I was also in my early forties when I started studying law. I went to an élite school, though, and excelled. Yet I never found a relevant job during law school, and even after graduation I could not find work other than a federal clerkship. I did finally find a job, even a good one, as a lawyer. But that late bit of success does not vindicate the law-school scam. Prospective students past their late twenties would do well to stay away, especially if they cannot get into an élite school.

      Delete
    5. Old Guy's advice could be valuable if he defined an "elite" law school. For purposes of finding legal employment, an elite law school would be a Top 7 law school.

      HYS, CCN, and Penn are the only schools worth incurring debt to attend. Your local non-elite law school could also be worth attending if it dominates its market, you have strong preexisting connections, and you incur zero debt for tuition.

      Living expenses are always a gray area, but don't go to law school just to live on loan money for three years.

      Delete
    6. Why attend law school at all? Just stay away.

      Delete
    7. Northern Illinois University is cheap as hell. She doesn't need a job (and won't get one). She can just work for herself. I don't know what kind of sales personality your sister in law has. If she used to work selling real estate, cars, insurance or anything else, she may make a killing as a lawyer. Most lawyers suck at sales.

      People who obsess over academic credentials tend to be people who don't have the sales personality to start their own firms and are forced to get jobs working for other lawyers. I would pick NIIU over U Chicago.

      Delete
    8. 2:54: I must respectfully disagree, although she was in sales and rather good T it. I just don't think that's enough anymore. Odds are that the labor market will force her into the areas of law dominated by advertising lawyers. It is hard to compete with us advertising attorneys unless you have the same advertising presence and that takes a lot of capital. I'm in a small to medium market, spending 20k a month and my spending is in the middle of the pack. She lives in the Chicago market and I can't even imagine what it takes to compete in that market. I just don't see how a new graduate can do it. However, I appreciate your encourging words. I would love to be wrong and you to be right.

      Delete
    9. "She can just work for herself"

      "People who obsess over academic credentials tend to be people who don't have the sales personality to start their own firms and are forced to get jobs working for other lawyers. I would pick NIIU over U Chicago"

      Thanks for stopping by, NIU Law admissions office. I realize it's hard convincing a sufficient number of marks to move to a depressing shithole like DeKalb but I don't think you're changing minds here.

      Delete
    10. My notion of "élite" school is even narrower than that given by 7:14. Some days I wonder whether Columbia should count as élite.

      I've discussed the details here before (http://outsidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.ca/2014/12/guest-post-by-old-guy-which-law-schools.html).

      Working for oneself is not so easy as it sounds. Tricia, with her abundant experience and established presence in a medium-sized market, spends a quarter of a million a year on advertising. A fresh graduate cannot hope to compete in Chattanooga, still less Chicago.

      Delete
    11. If she used to work selling real estate, cars, insurance or anything else, she may make a killing as a lawyer. Most lawyers suck at sales.

      First and foremost, does she have enough capital stored away that she will be able to run her solo practice and afford living expenses after law school? I've seen a number of startup businesses get into horrible trouble because they were undercapitalized and the "good salesman" owner was selling products/services that the business couldn't actually afford to deliver.

      Second, what is the business rationale behind trying to start a business in a heavily-glutted market? Find something that a lot of people (who actually have money) want done and that existing businesses AREN'T doing. Trying to bull your way into a glutted market without having the capital necessary to pay for a LOT of advertising hardly strikes me as a bright idea. Without that capital, peddling a service offered by hundreds of local competitors, you're just a no-name schmuck and nobody has any reason to hire you over your competitors. There are more then enough lawyers. I can't sit down on a toilet and take a crap without the turd hitting 4 lawyers before it even gets to the water's surface.

      I would pick NIIU over U Chicago.

      Yeah, and given the choice between a new BMW and a clapped-out Pinto, I'd choose the Pinto. Honest!

      Delete

    12. "Working for oneself is not so easy as it sounds. Tricia, with her abundant experience and established presence in a medium-sized market, spends a quarter of a million a year on advertising. A fresh graduate cannot hope to compete in Chattanooga, still less Chicago."

      Kids, there are old graduates that can't compete in Chattanooga, still less Chicago. Unless you have ready access to lots of capital and a mentor to keep you out of trouble as you learn the ropes, don't let any Dean or Professor of law (with their clueless notions of what it takes to run a business) tell you opening your own shop is a viable and realistic option. It's really not.

      Delete
    13. Is this PI work we're talking about here? About 99 percent of the lawyer advertising I see around here is for PI work. When I was practicing (crim + family, ugh) most of the other attorneys I ran into seemed to be tiny firms or solos and none of them seemed to be doing great financially.

      Delete
    14. 6:38 is right on the mark. If you have the sales skills to succeed as a lawyer, you should be doing anything but being a lawyer. There are so many things that you could sell where the market isn't already ridiculously flooded. Unless you can get into Biglaw there is NO MONEY in the profession, and even then you are probably screwed in the long run.

      Delete
    15. And kids with ready access to lots of capital don't want to open a solo practice in Chattanooga anyway: they get jobs with Daddy's law firm in Manhattan or Mommy's corporate headquarters in Chicago.

      Delete
    16. And kids with ready access to lots of capital don't want to open a solo practice in Chattanooga anyway: they get jobs with Daddy's law firm in Manhattan or Mommy's corporate headquarters in Chicago.

      Even if you do have the kind of capital needed, opening a law firm would still be a lousy idea. Unlike other businesses (say, for example, mine), pretty much every dollar you spend trying to start a firm cannot be recouped unless you generate new business. You sure as hell can't resell a law degree, you can't get your rent back even if you get no business through your office, advertising is a loss unless it generates business, you can't get your CLE fees or bar dues back, etc. Me, on the other hand? The vast majority of capital is in equipment/inventory. If business flops, I can load it onto a trailer and sell it. Sure, I'd probably take a loss on selling it, but not a near 100% loss.

      Dropping tens of thousands of dollars almost exclusively on fees, rent, licenses, and other expenses? To get into a glutted industry? Are these people nuts?

      Delete
    17. I have been practicing as long as Tricia. My advertising budget in the past was 5k per month. At one time it paid off. No longer. Other than my website it is now zero. Over the years, massive advertisers have moved into my area, and others trying to match them. It is impossible for a solo to compete with their dollars. Advertising on my end resulted in a number of crap cases which took lots of time, required a larger staff and barely paid for itself. Not worth it. I now work for me instead of the yellow pages and Google optimizers.

      Delete
    18. Anon: "Illinois University is cheap as hell. She doesn't need a job (and won't get one). She can just work for herself. I don't know what kind of sales personality your sister in law has. If she used to work selling real estate, cars, insurance or anything else, she may make a killing as a lawyer. Most lawyers suck at sales."

      If she's good at sales, she could stick to that, not incur a massive amount of debt, and not have to try to sell herself in a field with which she has zero knowledge.


      -Barry

      Delete
  19. I think Simkovic missed the most important health benefit of going to law school. It isn't just to keep you away from those cheap, polluted neighborhoods. It also keeps you from having to eat cheap, starchy foods, which in the long run prevents diabetes.

    I'm surprised that a public health expert with a law degree from Columbia would miss something like that.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Going to law school to avoid living in a toxic environment is like fucking for chastity.

    ReplyDelete
  21. This is really valuable advice to future law students. The most important point for future students is to only go to school at a place where it's clear that the school emphasizes post-employment outcomes and that students actually get jobs after graduation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which school is that?

      Delete
    2. Like 5:03, I don't believe that any school qualifies.

      Ask a few toilets exactly what, concretely, they do to help students to get good jobs after graduation. "Umm, we, er, have a career-services office that checks résumés for spelling mistakes [even though the person in charge of the thing can't spell worth a tinker's damn herself] and organizes on-campus interviews [if any employers actually visit the toilet] and tells students to network."

      Delete
  22. It's great that blogs like this have spread the word about the true disconnect between buying a law degree (credential) at an increasingly insane price and the steadily eroding legal job market. Progress has been made, but we cannot forget that law schools are still churning out over twice the number of graduates that a healthy legal market could hope to absorb. Sadly, the bottom has not yet been reached and the schools lower their standards in an attempt to stay afloat.

    Avoid this perfect storm at all costs

    ReplyDelete
  23. It's stories like the one told by this author, dupednontraditional, that really upset me.

    He was an engineer. He is smart! He took difficult classes, unlike the history majors (with the inflated GPA) that got into Harvard (mostly because they had lots of time to study for the LSAT). NO QUESTION he's more qualified and talented to be an attorney, and he wouldn't complain about the difficult hours at "biglaw" (since he's already used to over-working, unlike said history majors).

    Sadly, law does not respect such people. Law is the type of profession that equates intelligence with high LSAT scores and being able to regurgitate a professor's opinions on an essay exam. There is no deviation from this subjective yet rigid paradigm.

    I'm a patent lawyer, and I have seen so many smart people with STEM backgrounds get chewed out by law. All of us worked our asses off during college, and each of us could have realistically done well in other fields.

    Unfortunately, we chose law and got screwed. WHAT A TOTAL WASTE OF OUR TALENTS!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's worse than that. Big law firms don't care much about intelligence; what they want is pedigree. Why? Because pedigree implies connections of the sort that lead to business. Thus the dumb little rich kids at the bottom of the class readily get jobs in big firms, while the smart hayseeds are passed over.

      Intelligence simply is not very important for the sort of work that an associate at a big firm does. A new "litigator" for a big law firm might spend five years without even taking a deposition, and ten or fifteen without seeing a courtroom.

      Delete
    2. I remember when I graduated law school, the biglaw firms took-out full page adds in all the local trade publications in order to list the names of the new associates hired. Each of them had some sort of honor next to their name.

      All of this was to impress the clients.

      Basically, to get into big law, it's all about having the "buzz words" next to your name, and being young enough to slave away the best years of your life above a copy machine.

      Delete
  24. As a 25 year attorney, I wish I had this info in 1987 when I started law school. This scenario is absolutely right on.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I would not recommend any STEM college major attend law school to become a patent attorney. It's just way too risky.

    I know so many engineers who had careers or at least jobs before they entered law school and now have very little. So many people who work at the PTO, for search firms, and at ancillary places like Thomson/Lexis/Ocean Tomo/RPX. Or they work in compliance or in some other area totally unrelated to law.

    They are making nowhere near what a 5 year patent attorney makes at a medium to large law firm, yet this is the dream they were sold. They lost secure jobs with decent benefits and at least 3-5% yearly increases in pay.

    My first point is that at least 50% of the people who think they will end up as patent attorneys do nothing of the sort. They wind up in jobs they could simply have applied to fresh from undergrad, or after taking the patent bar.

    The dream of patent law is a canard, something ignorant undergraduate CSOs tell STEM majors who like to write. The field is supersaturated in all majors except EE, and even then you have to have the right combination of factors to make it work: youth, good grades (luck is involved here Lemmings, not just hard work!), a good school, willingness to relocate to hubs of patent activity, etc.

    And let's not forget - willingness and ability to work some pretty horrible hours. Outside counsel routinely sends me office action responses at 11:00PM at night. I often get drafts of appeal briefs on Saturday afternoons. I never worked anything close to those hours as an engineer. The guy that's sending me this stuff does not see his baby or his wife during this time. You think when he's lying on his deathbed he will have some regrets? You only get one chance at this life.
    In the end, all you have are the relationships you make with those close to you, not some misplaced sense of duty to a senior partner or to a vague sense that you're improving America's position in the world with your genius ability to draft claims.

    The second point I would make is that if you think engineering is bad for whatever reason (bad boss, lack of career advancement, etc), hang in there. Things change. Nothing is constant at corporations. You might get a new mentor next year who really opens things up for you. There might be a job opening within the company, etc. Just keep your nose to the grindstone, try to do good work, be aware of how you are perceived. Things will work out if you give it a chance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wholeheartedly agree with this. I am in patent law and the field is completely glutted. I have classmates with EE backgrounds and they can't get jobs, and even those who do get jobs are making less than what they made as engineers (working longer hours and with less job security).

      Delete
    2. I completely second that. I went from an 8 year career as a software engineer to an unemployed patent attorney. Ended up trying shitlaw cases for about 3-4 years while I networked and tried to get hired by a patent firm. Eventually threw in the towel and went back to coding. Instantly doubled my salary and halved my hours. Giving up on law was the smartest thing I did in the past 10 years.

      Delete
    3. "The second point I would make is that if you think engineering is bad for whatever reason (bad boss, lack of career advancement, etc), hang in there. Things change. Nothing is constant at corporations. You might get a new mentor next year who really opens things up for you. There might be a job opening within the company, etc. Just keep your nose to the grindstone, try to do good work, be aware of how you are perceived. Things will work out if you give it a chance."

      Remember, becoming a lawyer will involve:

      1) Spending three years away from the work force, working harder.
      2) Probably moving to do so.
      3) Taking whatever job you can after graduation.
      4) Probably moving to do so.
      5) Incurring vast debt - when you take interest rates into account, basically buying a house, which you can not sell, and have a 50% chance of being able to live in.


      If you're willing to go through that, you can likely improve your career without going to law school.

      -Barry

      Delete
    4. And that's exactly what I should have done instead of going to law school Barry.

      Delete
  26. Why can't professors use their networks to help students find jobs?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What jobs??

      There are at least three times too many law schools in relation to the legal job market, and the one-third of schools that have some claim to legitimacy have about double the students they should have. The current downturn is a nudge towards the right direction, but it is only a very small start.

      Keep the faith and keep up the good work, Scambloggers. We've only just begun.

      Bar Exam scores are dropping to their lowest point in years... and it makes you wonder about the quality of our future Bar, our future Courts, our future system of Justice....

      But if the scammers care so little about their students, it is a surprise that they don't give a shit about the future of this country?

      Scamblogging is patriotic -- it's concerned about preserving our system of justice as well as helping its citizens avoid stupefying debt.

      Delete
    2. And what networks??

      Delete
  27. And that is why I never took the patent bar. A legal recruiter made it pretty clear early in my career that the law school attended was more important than the engineering background, and firms would just wait for the right candidate. I concluded there was no great shortage of lawyers with engineering backgrounds even back during 2003-2004. I met a number of attorneys who passed the patent bar, but could not find a job in the field. We were all stuck working in document review. I know some went on to start their own solo firms. I eventually moved on and became a nurse.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hey Duped, I love you. You are insanely intelligent; quad-T be damned!!!

    Fuck the debt. It's illegitimate, economic discrimination by one generation against another. The entirety of the younger generations are fucked by it, and eventually they're in charge by the natural progression of death of the Silent and Boomer generations. Certainly that happens in fewer than 25 years.

    Don't pay the illegitimate, fraudulently induced debt. "Forgiveness" is a non-contractual, bullshit carrot to keep the peasants from revolting like they should TODAY.

    Turns out, I'm newbie enough (have direct loans) to have a clause in my promissory note with the feds entitling me to a administrative process - and clear instructions for the same - to assert by debts are unenforceable because my law school violated state laws (it surely did) in inducing attendance, the taking of specific types of loans, etc. So, I ask DOE to provide the information, paperwork, process, and they tell me they don't have one yet...meanwhile SOL is running. Uh huh. Sounds like a breach to me...

    So, I won't pay the fuckers. And I'm disputing my law school debts on my credit report(s). Fuck 'em. Carry on. 25-years-hence forgiveness is bullshit. The schools, the feds, they never played by the rules; they were always in cahoots to defraud students. To the extent they made the rules, they purposely designed them to be vastly unfair, and even exempted themselves from disclosing such to students under TILA, etc. FUCK THEM! How much more do we really need to know? Oh yeah, unpaid, "volunteer" US Attorneys, DA's etc. FUCK THEM!

    So, nope, won't pay. Live today for tomorrow that US Bond Debt comes due.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congratulations! You spent three years incurring debt that will be used to pay the salaries of people who don't even want to be lawyers.

      Delete
    2. You are apparently confused that 'debt' can be used to 'pay salaries.' No son, QE debt is money that gets de-created; aka monetary tightening. Ultimately deflationary. Nobody gets paid but the black hole that happens after the Federal Reserve zeros out some previously existent monetary base. 2010 on, it was all temporary money. Bad news for everyone!

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  29. Someone asked if professors could use their networks to help students find jobs..exactly what networks do you have in mind? Their network of other law professors?! That's absurd and insulting.

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    1. The point is that law professors, who should be a well-connected elite, are telling newcomers to the field to 'network'.


      -Barry

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    2. They're only connected to other academics, which is entirely useless for students.

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