Monday, February 13, 2017

Applicants Down 1.5% or Up 20.5%, Depending on How You Do the Math

Now that we are roughly ten weeks into the 2017 applicant cycle, I thought it was time to discuss the latest round of numbers from LSAC.  Looking through the analysis, though, it is not good news, so far as supporters of the scamblog movement are concerned.

LSAC started this cycle reporting a five percent decline in applicants over 2016, which has slowly been shrinking to the -1.5% mark.  So far, not so controversial - as time goes by and more and more applicants surface, the delta tends to improve rather than get worse.  However, if you take the LSAC data and plot it on a chart that is actually legible for once, you start to notice something odd: applicants appear to be tracking the 2014 data, which is significantly more than 2016.


Which leads to the obvious question: how can LSAC be showing declining numbers, when the plots show an improvement over 2016?  That's when apples-to-apples comparisons become critical.  Long story short, I believe I discovered the issue: LSAC appears to be going off pure spreadsheet numbers, but not paying close attention to which data they are comparing to what.  The summary is below:




When dealing with LSAC, is it difficult to line up their "start dates" as they tend to fluctuate a bit from year to year.  For example, I have to take LSAC's word that after week "1", applicants were down 5%.  However, when comparing weeks "2" and "3" with the same period last year, you will see that we are off to a good start on agreement: -4.7% and -4.2% respectively. 

However, starting with week "6", things start to diverge.  Apparently instead of comparing 2016's "Week 6" to 2017's "Week 6", LSAC did the math on 2016's "Week 6" and 2017's "Week 5."  While that comparison does yield -3.7% (per LSAC) in applicants year-over-year, the reality is that actual Week-6-to-6 (in red) shows in increase of 8.04%.

Similarly, there is a variance in Weeks 7, 8, and 10.  Each time, one can calculate and arrive at LSAC's % Difference calculation, but each time it appears to be wrong.  They are just going down the spreadsheet, and not comparing apples-to-apples.  Comparing Week 7-to-Week 7, (Green), Week 8-to-Week 8 (Orange) and Week 10-to-Week 10 (red), the actual percentages are actually up over 2016. 

When looking at the graphical data, one can see this as well.  Looking at Week 10, Applicant Data shows that that 2017 is much higher that the same time in 2016.  We appear to be back at 2014 levels.

Is it possible that the OTLSS analysis is off by one week, i.e. that the 2017 curve needs to be shifted to the left one week?  It's possible, as again LSAC is not clear from their charting about when they start - but even then the 2017 curve would still appear to trend higher than 2016, perhaps even by a larger percentage.  As LSAC does not report every week but instead skips some weeks randomly from year to year, this only adds to the potential confusion.

Unfortunately, even allowing for some fluctuation it would appear that students are somewhat changing their minds and ignoring the warnings about law school.   With Indiana Tech and Charlotte and others in the news, with their blatant, craven treatment of students as nothing more than loan conduits, it boggles the mind that students would be considering law school in greater numbers, even at more highly ranked schools.  Maybe they feel they have no other options.  Maybe they think they can beat the odds.  Maybe they are independently wealthy and a $175k price tag for a law degree means nothing to them.  Who knows.

All the more reason for the scamblog community to stand firm.  While a potential increase in the student crop this year is music to the ears of ScamDeans and LawPrawfs, we also know that it is a disastrous outcome for many once the student has been through the Law School Gristmill.  While not everyone will heed our warnings, some do and that is the best result anyone can hope for. 

51 comments:

  1. There is a subset of sophisticated consumers who cannot be reached, enough to keep the academy in business forever. It's up to the Department of Education to tell these people, "No," since no one else will.

    I suspect that some of the increase is from F-1 visa holders hoping to ride out the Trump administration.

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    1. There are cheaper ways to buy citizenship: MBA, STEM PHD, buying a 'business' property for 1 million or less.

      Law school is a sucker's game no matter how one slices it.

      Delete
  2. While stories about the Bottom of the Barrel schools are entertaining and often satisfying, they present the distinct risk that readers will believe the cautions and warnings apply only to attendees of those schools. 'I'm not going to Indy, so I'm in the clear.'

    The truth is that anyone graduating from the so-called bottom 125 law schools is in dire danger and simply should not go. Those graduating in the top 30 percent or so of the top 50 schools might have a chance at an OK job, and then underemployment. And probably no one from here on out has a chance at a career. The profession has changed that radically. Law school hasn't.

    Keep up the good work, but the message is continual. Babies are coming into this world each and every day, and one day they will encounter the concepts of bi-modal distribution, up or out, short shelf-life, and the solo practice sham for the first time.

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    1. I broadly agree, but I'd say that the bottom 190 law schools are bad bets.

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    2. You're way too kind. The T14 schools are an iffy bet these days. The top 10 schools are regularly caught fudging their employment stats and the top 50 (I can vouch for this first hand) are a cesspit of failure and indebtedness. We haven't even gotten to the bottom 150 yet and it's already a wasteland.

      And even the people who "succeed" in the traditional sense by summering at the right places and getting a biglaw associate position that pays the big bucks... how are they doing 5-10 years later? I encountered quite a few of these success stories finishing out the remaining 35 years of their careers as low level government workers when their biglaw meal ticket ran out after a few years. Making 60k a year at age 60 is not winning.

      The entire legal profession is a minefield. Enter at your own risk.

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    3. I agree with 1:01. More than two years ago, I concluded in the article below that at most 16 law schools are worth attending—and in the comments you will see my doubts about Harvard and Yale, particularly at full price:

      http://outsidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.ca/2014/12/guest-post-by-old-guy-which-law-schools.html

      Those few jobs that pay $160k or $180k rarely last more than a few years, and the people who leave them (by choice or otherwise) are likely to move on to far less lucrative work.

      Delete
  3. According to the most recent data from the CDC, in 2015 the rate of chlamydia increased 6%, gonorrhea increased 13%, and syphilis increased 19%. No matter how many times you tell people to use a condom, show them pictures of STD infected genitals, and warn women about the risks of pelvic inflammatory disease, there will always be a fraction of the population who will ignore all of the warnings and still have unprotected sex. Likewise, despite all of the warnings about the risks of attending non-elite law schools, lemmings will still enroll. But countless others will be saved because of the great information you and others have provided. Of course, you can treat chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis with simple antibiotics. But you can’t discharge $150k in student loans from a toilet law school. That debt will stick with you like herpes.

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    1. Law school: the AIDS of venereal diseases.

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    2. Jeez, Old Guy, nice to hear a PC fellow such as yourself calling a spade a spade and referring to AIDS as a venereal disease, something verboten among AIDS activists.

      But in any event, in the early 1980s the joke was: "What's the difference between true love and Herpes?" "Herpes always lasts forever." By the late 1980s the joke was: "What are the differences between true love, Herpes and AIDS?" "Herpes and AIDS always last forever but at least with AIDS forever probably won't be all that long."

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    3. Since it is spread venereally, I don't see why it shouldn't be called a venereal disease. Of course, it is also spread by other means, as are many other venereal diseases.

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    4. You may be too young to remember when AIDS first hit the headlines. The objective was to get the feds to pay for research on a massive scale to deal with something that, once the blood supply was made safe, was always the result of individuals choosing to engage in high risk behavior. This led to the U.S. eventually spending more on AIDS research than on cancer research.

      The marketing strategy was to fool the public into thinking that AIDS would soon spread across all of the heterosexual population - which hasn't yet even begun to happen - so the disease had to look mainstream. Thus the activists made it a point to avoid the term "venereal disease" at all costs.

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    5. Whatever the nomenclature and its derivation, please note that going to law school is correctly being compared with unprotected sex, and that a legal 'career' is now correctly likened to venereal disease. A JD is VD. This cannot be emphasized enough.

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  4. 7:20 is correct.
    "Those graduating in the top 30 percent or so of the top 50 schools might have a chance at an OK job, and then underemployment. And probably no one from here on out has a chance at a career. The profession has changed that radically.

    A Harvard, Yale or Stanford JD won't guarantee success. I know unemployed and underemployed Harvard, Yale and Stanford law graduates who are alumni of Biglaw having spent years in Biglaw. The profession has changed that much. No one is secure. I know unemployed and underemployed ex-Biglaw partners. No one, no one should go to law school today unless they are independently wealthy and are just doing it for the experience.

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    1. At least every month or so, I learn about someone in my law school cohort who just became unemployed. I see them on LinkedIn with the lead on their profiles: "Looking For New Challenges" and "ISO inhouse counsel position." I'm in my early 50s and when you are in your 50s and become unemployed, you really just should forget about law and try to reinvent yourself. No one wants to hire you in your 50s and you'd be crazy to try to jump start a solo practice. Neither firms nor companies are secure. You have a bit of security with government jobs, but that security is also eroding with budget cuts at the state and federal levels.

      The additional problem most of the newly unemployed in their 50s have is that is just about the time that junior is going to college.

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    2. Some graduates of Harvard, Yale, and Stanford cannot find work anywhere, let alone in Big Law.

      I would not attend any of those three institutions if I had to pay most of the cost with student loans. Yes, even Yale nowadays is a scam.

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    3. In 2015, Stanford had 2 graduates classified as “employment status unknown.” 1 graduate was employed part time in a firm of 2-10 attorneys. 2 graduates were employed in university funded positions (4 other graduates were employed as “Ford Fellows”).

      Yale had 2 unemployed graduates, 2 graduates classified as “employment status unknown,” 3 unemployed not seeking graduates, and 11 graduates in school funded positions deemed highly competitive fellowships. 1 graduate was employed with a firm of 2-10 lawyers.

      Harvard had 4 unemployed graduates, 2 unemployed not seeking, 1 unemployed start date deferred, and 2 graduates classified as “employment status unknown.” 28 grads were employed in university funded positions. 1 grad went solo, 1 grad was employed by a firm of 2-10 attorneys, 6 grads were employed in various full time short term jobs, and 1 grad was employed in a part time job.

      The vast majority of the grads at these schools obtained big law or federal clerkships. But a handful of graduates were unemployed. The total cost to attend these schools for three years is over $250,000. The few unlucky unemployed grads have experienced a catastrophic financial disaster.

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    4. The problem isn't the 9 month statistics at HYS (which may be fudged via university funded employment and other sly deals that expire after the polling period), it's the statistics from 10 years later when people are in their 30s and they haven't made partner. Do you imagine that the big firms are experiencing explosive growth in billables these days? If anything, it's been a slow contraction for years. The financial crisis brought things to a head in terms of making big firms confront excessive head count, but the contraction in demand for legal services has been going on for years. Clients are demanding cheaper services and firms are automating or outsourcing everything they can. Demand for doc review temps tells me that partners are reaping fat margins during discovery, but it doesn't bode well for people who dream of paying off their loans as biglaw associates.

      If these same big firms with a static or shrinking pool of billable hours are hiring every year, that implies a certain rate of churn, which is borne out by the high frequency with which you can encounter former biglaw associates in all sorts of non-prestigious circumstances like solo shitlaw, smallgov, non-JD and doc review temp work. Nobody is fleeing 180k a year for the financial security and low stress of shitlaw.

      Maybe they haven't updated their LinkedIn profiles or something, but 10 years later, a lot of my former classmates who got clerkships are still clerking. A lot of people who got jobs as PDs, prosecutors, city attorneys etc are still in those jobs 10 years later. These sorts of positions used to be short term stepping stones to private practice, now they're low paid graveyards of talent.

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    5. For many years now, making partner in your 30s is not the magic bullet.

      With the flat volume of work in the legal profession, it is hard to generate enough revenue for the lawyer and one or two other people to stay in the partnership business. Partnerships are increasingly disappearing in spite of lawyers working like dogs. Some people recover, others less so.

      Partnerships are often very fleeting jobs, especially since at least half the lateral partners are disappointments to the firms. Same is true of more home grown partners.

      You really are in the legal profession at your peril today, and going to U of Chicago Law School after compiling a brilliant academic record is simply not enough by a long stretch to assure you a career as a lawyer.

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  5. Law school is a tremendous gamble for anyone who is not wealthy or incredibly connected. Automation and LPOs will continue to make greater strides, at the cost of students and recent graduates. As the commenter at 7:20 am noted: law school hasn't changed much while this gutter "profession" has been altered drastically over the past 30 years.

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  6. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingFebruary 13, 2017 at 12:42 PM

    Welcome applicants to my profession: Home to the $49.00 Traffic Ticket billboard Attorneys. Chicagoland awaits you with open arms. Try paying a student loan nut of $200K, $49.00 per client who wants trial and is INNOCENT!

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    1. Yes, you talk about those billboards all the time.

      Defense advertised at $49 cannot be worth a damn. Do not hire a lawyer for that fee unless you want to lose.

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    2. Well, Old Guy, I can't speak to Illinois but in my state if you just show up they'll offer quick deal. Bring a lawyer and you're probably going to save more, certainly over $49.00, and maybe ease up on the driver's license points in the bargain. Plus they take the people with counsel first, ahead of the rest of the long line. If a lawyer shows up with twenty files and is out in an hour everybody makes out on the deal. My state has roughly as many people as Cook County and many areas are thinly populated. If you can generate the volume and spend a lot of time in court I could see making it work, although I assume the schleps going to court ain't getting paid what the guy who arranged the whole operation makes.

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    3. Yes, that could work if the lawyer is just negotiating plea bargains. But the message above referred to running a trial. I can't believe that a lawyer being paid a flat $49 for a trial, and trying to survive on that matter rather than handling an isolated case essentially pro bono, would mount a proper defense. The time needed for a trial even of a simple matter would reduce that fee below the minimum wage, even before accounting for self-employment taxes, business expenses (a billboard in Chicago cannot be cheap), and so on.

      Even a lawyer who is just making plea bargains needs to advise the client properly. It would be unethical to urge a plea bargain upon a client who protested innocence or who had a viable defense.

      In short, I cannot see how $49 defense of traffic tickets could work. Maybe it's really $49 for a plea and a higher rate for more extensive services. Even then, I should not like to try to scratch out a living in this way, especially if it compromised my professionalism.

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    4. 2:11 here. Read the fine print, if any exists. I have seen lawyers advertise in those real estate ad magazine-type flyers that they'll do any closing within a certain area for a price that undercuts everybody else.

      But that's for doing the closing. Contract review, title search, title search review, document prep, post-closing matters, etc. quickly make you pay more than the going rate. I imagine it's the same with $49.00 traffic tickets. $49.00 gets you a deal where you just pay the clerk and walk out. Want a trial, well . . .

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    5. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingFebruary 15, 2017 at 8:41 PM

      These billboards dove tail nicely with the messages here: Anybody who has half a brain and sees these things will think twice about law school. Even if they see "starting at," folks think, what a scam...who wants to go into a profession that's scammy?

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    6. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingFebruary 15, 2017 at 8:47 PM

      Plus, those billboards really piss me off. Like that damn billboard in the Great Gatsby. All of my colleagues treat clients respectfully and charge reasonable fees....these billboards tarnish my reputation....yours too Old Guy... All of us. A pox on our houses.

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    7. The problem, Cap'n, is that lemmings look at those billboards and scoff at them, knowing THEY'RE going to be doing what the actors on Boston Legal and The Practice did.

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  7. I don't trust any of the "information" published by LSAC, the ABA, or individual law schools. They lie to make money; it's that simple.

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    1. Nowadays, you can make up whatever you want and call it "alternative facts." Law schools have been presenting "alternative facts" for a long time. Why are we still trying to analyze bogus statistics? We're chasing our tails.

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    2. I don't know that law schools were necessarily lying all of these years. A solo shlepper like me until 2007 was able to bring home around $75-80K yearly with less than 40 hours per week. If I worked a bit harder and didn't goof around with all of these nice women....and I never ever did anything like our Orange Grabber In Chief....never had to.... I would have made more money. The point is that most of us were fairly successful and the profession created good jobs and was recession proof.

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    3. That matches my experience as well. I graduated during the crisis and got to experience the downturn first hand. In the mid 2000s a hardworking solo shitlaw guy could clear over a hundred grand a year doing DUIs, court appointed crap and divorces. It was not rocket science...

      Around 2008, it was like someone just pulled the plug. No more flood of spring break DUIs, no more construction workers fighting over child support and who gets the chevy cavalier. Even the court appointed stuff dried up. First they reduced the amounts paid per case, then a ton of attorneys flooded into it to stay afloat and then they set up a backup public defender which took 90 percent of the conflict cases and that was it. I was done. A lot of guys who had been surfing the shitlaw wave for decades folded in those years.

      It used to be that even a thoroughly shitty lawyer could pay all his bills with court appointed stuff and afford hookers and blow with whatever walked through the door. Those days are gone.

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  8. This is true as to graduates of the top law schools being unemployed and underemployed. Is also true that the profession has changed.

    My recommendation would be to take a JD preferred job if you cannot get a high paying legal job to start and you already completed law school. You may want to find an area that is growing if you can get that. If you are not getting the $180 and are getting say $50 in law if you can get anything in law, you will not have an economic loss as a result of taking the JD preferred job. Hopefully the job will lead to job security, or at least more than in law.

    For the graduates of the top schools who lose their jobs after big law and cannot find anything close to a full-time permanent job at $180, you just have to try harder. You may need to think outside the box and do something very different. This is not a profession where you can just go to work as a lawyer and do your job and be successful today.

    Working for free while you are trying to get paying work, in the way or a job search, or any other effort to keep fully busy, is not what any top law grad signed up for, but that is what a lot of you are going to get, even from Harvard, Yale and Columbia and even more so from NYU or Penn Law School.

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    1. "JD-preferred" jobs are rare, certainly far rarer than the law-school touts suggest. Except in jobs for lawyers, a JD is usually a decided liability.

      A job paying $50k will not cover the interest, let alone the principal, on a typical graduate's student loans.

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    2. I am talking about starting out after law school by being a CPA, jobs in human resources, labor relations, communications, health care administration, compliance, assistant at a business doing college graduate-type work, anything that requires a BA and has even a tenuous relationship to law.

      You will not need the law degree to do the job, but you will have a salary as good as you would have gotten in law for those not getting big law or mid law and you will have advancement possibilities. None of this pays for law school, but law practice is not going to pay the cost of your degree either if you cannot get a job as a lawyer.

      These jobs at least are not going to be as oversaturated as law where up or out policies put 5,000 young big law refugees on the street each year, all with top credentials and not nearly enough jobs for all.

      The problem with law is that the oversupply of highly credentialed young and fired lawyers pushes out many lawyers older than that out from full employment. So these other areas of work may be at least not worse than law in the long term.

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    3. Without the required training and licensure, a law graduate could not work as a CPA. A law graduate could work in those other capacities, perhaps—but that doesn't mean that a JD is "preferred". Usually just the opposite is true: a JD attracts adverse attention. "Why aren't you working as a lawyer?"

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    4. It is a few extra courses over the BA to get the CPA, depending on the state. You can do it at a community college at low cost.

      The other areas listed are included in the JD preferred category that law schools use for employment statistics. Since a lot of people get JD preferred jobs, they must not be all that unusual an outcome for a JD and they are clearly not rare.

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    5. Going back to the points above about post-big law unemployment, I just learned of a major employer (not a law firm) doing mass firings of lawyers (over time, not all at once) simply because they can, and are continuing to do so. It impacts mostly lawyers well over 40 and many of the lawyers who have been working for that employer for a while.

      The lawyer job market is terrible for lawyers over 40 without portable business. There is no place to go for most fired lawyers in this age group. Some will recover or partly recover, but many won't.

      When you have this outflow of 5,000 fired young highly credentialed lawyers each year from law firmsand much less than 5,000 six figure lawyer jobs open, you have a lot of unemployed lawyers and a hundred applicants per experienced lawyer job. This corporation knows that and hence dumps all over its lawyers and throws them under the bus.

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    6. Most of the positions that the law schools call "JD-preferred" do not prefer a JD. Law graduates usually get those jobs despite the JD, not because of it.

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  9. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingFebruary 14, 2017 at 7:07 AM

    I know guys from top Schools who are in the same scum as the $49.00 Chicagoland billboard Traffic Ticket Defense lawyers.

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  10. Old Guy is right about JD preferred jobs. They are rare but my agency DHS does hire JDs to work as Contract Specialists and Civil Rights Officers starting at the GS-12 level 75k-100k depending on the location of the office. My colleague in contracting was an associate at Quinn Emmanuel. That said, with the hiring freeze, the point is completely lost and moot. Should the freeze lift I hope you will apply for these kinds of positions. Hope I can offer hope.

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    1. These jobs are incredibly competitive. Really anything $50k+ especially in white collar/government is incredibly difficult. Truth is those are good jobs, with pay raises, benefits and job security. Everyone can also do them, no matter their physical fitness level, and while most jobs are gender neutral, realistically you're not going to see a whole lot of say female sanitation workers or ditch diggers because the jobs are physically demanding. Not so for these types of jobs, so there are thus more applicants.

      Also, while a Quinn Emmanuel attorney from a top school and with a steady work history can move into these positions when there is an open position and the timing is right, that's not going to be the case for the vast majority of graduates who will never enter Big Law in the first place, and may not have the timing even if they did to enter into one of these positions, which as you've said is currently in a hiring freeze.

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  11. Traffic ticket defense for $41.50.

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    1. That might be a swell idea. If I can get my AGI to zero or below, my IBR will be zero as well. I just have to keep my LeSabre going for a few more years. You are a fountain of brilliance and sagacity---taking advantage of an oversupply of attorneys.... You are a beautiful human being.

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  12. Trump just nominated Florida International scam Dean, Alex Acosta, for the Dept of Labor. So, in case anyone still needs disabusing in re Trump...

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  13. While I don’t doubt that there are some grads from elite law schools who run into employment problems 10 or 20 years into their careers, I don’t know that this is part of the law school scam per se, except perhaps, to the extent the overproduction of law school grads contributes to the problem. To me, this is more of an issue with the legal profession than law schools scamming people. I would also point out that this happens in other fields as well. I know a guy from high school who worked as an engineer for a large telecom company for nearly 30 years. He was laid off a year ago (in his early 50's with a wife and several kids) and last I heard, he was refereeing youth soccer games to pick up spare cash. Imagine that.

    To me, the law school scam is about the guy or girl who graduates from a law school (of whatever rank) up to their eyeballs in debt and can’t find a legitimate legal job. Its about other things as well, but at its core, that’s what its really about, at least to me. For every Harvard grad whose career hits the skids in his mid 40's, there are thousands of grads who will never have a legal career in the first place. And that’s a damned disgrace.

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    1. I agree with 6:46's first paragraph. I have never framed myself as a victim of the law-school scam. My difficulties with finding employment despite excelling at an élite law school have nothing to do with deception or corruption on the part of any law school.

      I don't fully agree with the second paragraph. Graduates do not ipso facto deserve jobs as lawyers. Plenty of people with law degrees should not be admitted to the legal profession. Most of them should never have been admitted to any law school, so, yes, the law-school scam bears a large share of the responsibility for their plight. But I don't see "a damned disgrace" in the failure of some Cooleyite dipshit with an LSAT score below 140 to launch a legal career.

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    2. 6:46 here. Perhaps I should clarify. The disgrace is that these schools graduate 38,000 students every year knowing full well that there are only 20,000 legitimate legal jobs waiting for them. And this has been going on for a long time. Then they try to tell us that they can fit 10 pounds of shit in a five pound bag due to the magic of JD advantage. It's not a matter of deserving a job, it's a matter of there not being a job, whether you are deserving or not. I believe that law schools and the ABA should do what med schools and the AMA do - keep enrollment in line with available jobs. If this were to occur, schools like Cooley wouldn't exist.

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    3. People need to be smarter about law school. People going to low ranked schools and not finding jobs as lawyers is the result of not doing adequate diligence. They should not have gone to a school ranked below the T18 without understanding they were taking a big risk.

      Going to a top law school and top undergrad school and ending up unemployed at age 40 or 50-something - that is the fault of the law school establishment continuing an up or out class year hiring process where only 1 in 15 hires have a long term job in a lucrative lawyer job. This is a market where a lot of lawyers are going to go from big law to jobs that in no way justify the cost and time of law school.

      The problem of very high post-big law, post-federal clerkship, post-Harvard Law cum laude unemployment and underemployment needs much more publicity from the scam movement. Who would know otherwise? Clearly, people need longer term employment information to decide whether to attend a top law school.

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    4. I don't think you are talking about occasional top law school grads running into trouble later on. The full-time, permanent employment rate for grads of the top schools in their 50s who want such jobs would make the toilet schools' employment rates after graduation look good. You are talking about wide scale systemic unemployment and underemployment of older grads of top law schools.

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  14. Your IBR will be zero if your income is below 150% of the poverty line. Does not have to be zero.

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  15. I don't feel sorry for law graduates who wind up unemployed, or under-employed. These people are largely jerks who lack empathy for other people. They are not deserving of any compassion or sympathy. So put on your big boy/big girl pants, get out there and work like everyone else does, doing whatever you can to earn money and pay back that debt. Even if it means bartending. Stop sniveling and whining about how you were "scammed" by law schools. You what what you paid for, which was a law degree, so nobody scammed you.

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