Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Law School Applicants - Final Tally 2018

Well, here we are at the end of another exciting application cycle.  The model predictions made around week 22 continued to hold strong, almost like clockwork.  With 98% of precincts reporting in, it appears that there will be slightly over 60,000 applicants for 2017-2018,  a 6% increase over last year.

(LSAC says it's 8%, but apples-to-apples and all that.)


Whether the increase is 6%, 8%, or 25%, any increase outside the noise range is that many law students too many.  One has to ask why applications are essentially back to 2013 levels this year.  Some say it is the Trump-bump, which could be.  My personal opinion is that we have a whole new cadre applying who have not seen the horror stories, or paid that much attention to the ones they did see.  Perhaps snowflake-syndrome still runs strong.

However, all is not well in cartel-land.  While the clinking of champagne glasses most likely continues unabated, there is one nagging doubt that remains.  Has the low-hanging fruit actually been plucked?  According to BusinessWire:

Data in the 58-page report [concerning undergraduates] is broken out by 18 individual and college institutional variables including gender, race/ethnicity, financial background, sexual orientation, regional origins, expected student debt load, SAT/ACT scores, college grades, college major and other variables for individuals, and public/private status, and college/university type/Carnegie class for institutions. 

Key Findings
  • A shade more than 84% of those sampled thought it was highly unlikely or unlikely that they would ever apply to law school.
  • Women were much more likely than men to feel that they were highly likely to apply to law school though men were more optimistic about the economic outlook for the legal profession.
  • The population of students who were pretty sure or very sure of what they wanted to do post college were more likely than those who were not too sure of what they wanted to believe that the economic outlook for the legal profession was good.
  • The more population intense the area in which the survey participant grew up, the more likely that they were to say that they were highly likely to apply to law school.
So, outside of gunners and snowflakes, who have already made up their minds prior to considering alternate data, perhaps the message is sinking in for those who are not already pot-commited.  One can only hope.


  1. I am beyond words. Literally. I have been practicing law for over 20 years, and I run into unemployed and under employed lawyers all the time. Lawyers who graduate with high class rank from Georgetown Law School are now hired as Assistant Public Defenders in places like Baltimore City, if they're lucky. I basically would not hire a recent law school graduate in 2018, because anyone foolish enough to go to law school in the no jobs at all for most law grads environment that has been the norm for at least a decade--anyone that dense, I would not trust them to represent a client charged with driving 10 miles over the speed limit.

  2. Hi Dilbert.

    Between yourself and Weary Attorney on JDU, you're the only two posters I bother really reading closely anymore..

    Why did Nando shut down TTR? I'll tell you why:

    He had profiled all law schools he initially set out to do, plus the recent unforeseen newcomers like Arizona Summit, Charlotte, Florida Coastal, etc.

    But more than that he realized that it's effectively pointless and a huge waste of time and effort on his part for practically nothing in return.

    A few souls might be saved - and I mean a very, very few, countable perhaps on all one's fingers and toes - but not much more than that, ever.

    Regardless of all the effectively immortalized information now out there on the Web, and growing since the Wall Street Journal article of 2007 by Amir Efrati, these people are simply unreachable because they have drunk the Kool-Aid heavily through spending many years in a failed education System designed to perpetuate itself at the expense of its students.

    I realized the same. Stopped posting on TTR. Stopped posting many years ago on the Blunderground. Why bother? These fools will do as they will.

    I was right about it all. After Painter, I foresaw the rise of the $300k student loan debtor. He was the first of many. Unlike him, whose debt had capitalized to that level, these morons are starting out at a cool 1/3rd of a million in the hole in non-dischargeable student loan debt.

    How long before that capitalizes to over a million? Not long, IMO. Not long at all. A decade, perhaps. You'll never touch the principal to start with on these sham repayment programs. It's soft Debt Slavery. That's all it is. For life.

    I escaped and beat the Game. But I guarantee these fools will not. I guarantee it. All I got for my posting efforts over many years was ridicule and mindless crap thrown at me trying to convince these Jim Jones fools not to mortally fuck up their lives, slim chances of amounting to anything as it were in any case.

    Why should I care?

    Finally, 40% of the class of Duke goes debt-free. What does that tell you. Harvard, Yale, Stanford - how many go debt-free and are legacies? Probably a lot..

    It's all one big club. And you and I ain't in it.

    But try telling that and any other wisdom to these brain-dead, brainwashed idiots. As I said, pointless. Futile and pointless. They will do as they wish and will not listen.

    More peddling of the so-called "American Dream" and Horatio Alger crap by the upper classes to line their pockets and benefit them, as always, at the expense of the great Unwashed Masses.

    1. 8:39, I think you and the scam blog movement made more of an impact than you realize. There has been a sizeable reduction in law school applicants. The reduction was significant enough to force schools to slash admission standards. Cooley had to adopt open admission standards to get students and they still had to close campuses and lay off faculty. Also, the smart people got the message. Applications declined the most among high LSAT scorers. Anecdotally, I have talked to a lot of people that chose med school over law school because they learned online and from the news that law school was a scam. Last year, I was talking to a young doctor who was dating someone applying to law school. I said, “you know that a lot of law grads borrow hundreds of thousands of dollars and struggle to find jobs?” The doctor said, “yeah, they know. They will only go to law school if they are accepted into a T8. And they studied hard for the LSAT and got the score to get into one of those schools.”

      Your message got out and was heard by a lot of people. But you can’t expect an industry raking in hundreds of millions of dollars a year to just shut down. Look at the tobacco industry. They sell a product that increases the consumer’s risk of lung cancer, head and neck cancer, bladder cancer, COPD, heart disease, etc. Let me tell you, it’s not fun spending your dying days in and out of the hospital because you can’t breathe due to COPD. Or spending your dying days with aphasia because of a lung cancer met to the Broca’s area of the brain. Some people can even suffer autoamputation of limbs from smoking. The disease is called thromboangiitis obliterans. I’ve seen these people. They still smoke. The tobacco industry was not just going to fold up and give up billions because their product was toxic. They published fake studies, lobbied politicians, marketed to minorities, and employed a variety of strategies to stay in business. Many people were saved and got the message. They never smoked or stopped smoking. But a lot of people fell for the tobacco industry marketing and lies.

      The law schools followed the same approach as the tobacco industry. The law school deans and profs are sociopaths who will fight to keep their jobs raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for little work. So they published false studies about the “million dollar degree”, published deceitful op eds in major newspapers, and heavily marketed to minorities. Many people, like the law grad in the story 9:53 linked to below, ignored the law school scam movement and took on $300k in debt. Now they are unemployed and on welfare. But many people got the message and avoided law school. You helped those people in a significant way.

    2. Spot on-and we've already got a grad school million dollar winner! Er, debtor...he makes over 200k/yr but is worried he'll never escape his school debt; can't even imagine what an unemployed newly minted jd must feel about his 300k debt....

    3. You change lives and make a difference.

  3. Btw, just this month:




    From ATL:


    No. This law school didn't ruin his life. He ruined his own life because he drank the Kool-Aid and believed the hype.

    Whiny minority too, as I've found typical.

    Expecting his minority status would get him "in" with a JD.

    I have some news for him: There are a lot of hard-working non-minorities who get bounced from seats due to AA. Whites and Asians, etc. From law to medicine and so on in other professional fields. And because of this, some never recover or get their start. Because of a legal quota system, the more-qualified aren't becoming doctors or lawyers, etc. Think about that for a second..

    I feel even less bad for this person than otherwise because he is implicitly arguing for a non-merit outcome based on his "minority" status which in other parts of the world - most parts actually - he would not be considered a "minority" at all. Rather, he would be part of the majority population.

    Congratulations though! He too has joined the $300k Debtor's Club. And the shit advice that follows? Go find some volunteer (unpaid) work!!


    The blind leading the blind. It's endless out there, truly.

  4. I attended a good, upper 1/3 ranked law school starting in 1992. I realized that law was becoming a scam during the summer between my second and third year of law school. I obtained a full time paying job with the Attorney General's office, a clerkship that was full time summer and part time fall and spring. One of the students I worked with was doing the exact same job I was, for the same lawyers, same office, same expectations. . .for free. No money at all. She resented me for getting paid. I thought she was an idiot to work 40 hours a week for free. I literally would have walked out of the office and worked for McDonald's if they stopped paying me, and I made that clear. I think I was the last, or one of the last, law student clerks to ever get paid there. The AG's office realized that paying law students to work there was a waste of money, because gullible young fools would eagerly put in 40 (or more!) hours a week for free. "Prestige" of working for the Attorney General's Office. As far as I am concerned, anyone stupid enough to work full time for free should not be a lawyer. If you are a student, and you are reading this, and a government agency asks you to get up each morning, shower, shave, put on the suit you paid to buy and paid to have dry cleaned, put on a pair of 200 Bostonian leather shoes, and drive to work in your car, paying for gas insurance. . .you get the drift . . .try this. Look your "employer" straight in the eye and say, well, if I agree to work for you for free, will you agree to come to my house, mow my lawn, paint the interior, do the dishes, clean the bathroom, clean out the kitty litter box etc., on your own time "for free"? If the answer is no, you won't work for me for free, why would I agree to come into your office and research the law, write legal memos, assist in trial preparation etc. for free? And ask yourself, why are in in a profession that expects you to work hard and use your intellect and education for others, who are getting paid a lot of money, "for free"?

    1. 180.

      My own, pseudoscientific, unofficial study indicates that the people who expect you to work for free are the same people who have never really had to work for a living, ever. They got plumb assignments from a long series of moves as being part of the PPC class - the right schools, the right connections, etc. etc. etc. As such, they don't "need" the money, and it was no sacrifice to work "for free," if they actually ever did in the first place.

      This is true for any profession, I don't care if you are a lawyer, a banker, or an art curator. If they are expecting you to work for free, they view you as "the help." The game was over before you even started playing, so move on to something else that support some modicum of dignity.

    2. This will sound entitled, but we have a maid service that does a bang-up job. I happily pay them twice a month, and always thank them for what they do. Not because I'm awesome, but because I am grateful for what they do, as I would live in a self-inflicted pig sty without them and I know it.

      Compare this with a bunch of entitled lawyers at the AG's office, the ABA, judges, lawprofs, or whatever...expecting you to work for free, for the sake of "liberty" and "justice." I couldn't look in the mirror if I expected my plumber or my maid service to work for free, but these folks expect it, demean you while you do it, and act shocked if you push back. 0Ls, pay heed...

    3. Exactly 9:25 AM

      The game was over before you even started playing. The people who succeed after law school, by and large, not all of them but by and large, had the game beaten before they ever considered going.

      And you're right: You'll never get anywhere grinding in law because of the class/caste system. FFS.. you spend (now) $300k on a piece of paper law degree and you have to "volunteer" after 4 years of college and 3 years of law school - 7 prime years of your life, as most will be starting in their 20's.

      Again, absolutely right about the entitlement complex of those in the club. Those people you listed - they are living at the expense of the Masses on the taxpayer's dime. Privatize the gains. Socialize the losses. The mantra of the PPC and the upper classes.

      Re: 9:35 AM.

      Nope. It doesn't. I bet you have a lot more respect for them too. When I had my own apartment I let the cleaning get ahead of me. Then, it took me a day to do it all. The amount of cleaning was greater than the sum of its parts as undone work piled up.

      I have my own place and one of the things I do each day was any minor housekeeping as I go along. And so far, the place has not gotten ahead of me and is fairly well upkept. I learned. I'm by myself so if I don't do it no one else will. A service is absolutely great but I don't mind, at least for now.

    4. All of this is on point. If they can't even find enough change in the couch cushions to bother to pay you minimum wage, for a summer and/or part-time as requested, then that more than demonstrates the level of contempt that have for you. They want your work product, but only as a slave.

      Or to put it another way: Dolphins in tuna nets have rights. Tuna in tuna nets, however, don't.

  5. I've long admired the efforts of OTLSS, and Nando,and the others, but truly, it's pointless. A 6% increase is a huge increase.
    Why so many applying to/attending law school?
    Years ago, the excuse was that the Law School Cartel lied to students, giving fake job numbers and grossly inflated, if not completely fictitious, salary numbers. Had the students known, they never would have attended....
    Then the excuse was many were "hiding out" during the Great Recession and its aftermath, making a decision based on bad information(see above) but also because there was nothing else to do and things with a JD would be better. If it weren't for the Great Recession, they would have never attended...
    Now the excuse is...the Trump Bump(!)? Seriously....
    Frankly, it's time to give up. The Cartel is too powerful, and the number of potential 0Ls too great, for there to be any success fighting.
    Yes, there are many completely duped minorities who get terrible advice and/or don't know any better and attend; and yes, there are still plenty of Special Snowflakes who won't listen because they are "special"; but really, the majority of the attendees are kids with worthless BAs who just don't care. They realize the chances of getting a job as a lawyer are slim, and yes they'll pick up another 250K in debt, but so what? They're currently working retail for 12/hr and already have undergrad debt they were never going to pay back anyway-so what's more debt?
    The information is out there-no jobs for most, and poorly paying jobs for many of the rest. But what's the point? It's clear that the hordes of liberal artists just won't listen, and have made an active decision to attend rather than working a dead-end retail job.
    I realized that it was hopeless when Charlotte went toes up; I read article after article, with student after student quoted as saying they had been lied to, and cheated out of their dream of becoming a lawyer. Not one-not a single one-was quoted as saying "Thank God; upon reflection I dodged a life-destroying poor decision; maybe I can take advantage of getting out of my loans and create life for myself." Nope, not one; all said they needed to find another school to get that JD.
    Just too many 0Ls who will go to law school, any law school, no matter what.

    1. Yes 8:40 AM.

      I remember that too. And various videos as well of the Charlotte law students prattling on about their "dream" of becoming a lawyer.

      Fine. The law schools will happily sell you a severely overpriced piece of paper for $300k (current prices) which guarantees you - absolutely nothing.

      You can be a lawyer. But no one said anything about a job. Let alone a well-paying, secure job, etc.

      And what really solidified it for me as far as the gullibility of the crops, the endless Matrix-like fields, of law students was Whittier as well.

      Who can forget this chestnut from ATL:


      How many Charlotte and Whittier students took advantage - or even know/knew about - the closed school discharge provisions from the Dept. of Education?

      How many of these utter fools rushed into the teach-out plans offered by those schools and decided against that 1-in-a-million lifetime chance to begin again and get out of being screwed for life?

      My guess?

      Not too many.. And these people want to be lawyers. In a field where, at best (depends on the state) it's 1 job opening for every 2.5 students or, in round numbers, 2 job openings for every 5 students.

      It's not worth it. They don't want to be saved.

  6. People are born each day who don’t know the meaning of the terms “bimodal distribution,” “up or out,” “overabundance,” “tort reform” and “student loan crisis.” The work continues.

    Sites such as this should redouble their focus on the utterly bleak state of the legal profession and make clear that this holds true for graduates of respectable middle and above schools. Skip or tone down mockery of the Toilets. Many unsuspecting souls apparently believe that if they attend a good law school, they’re not attending a toilet, so they’ll be OK. This is definitely not so. A respectable school will leave you in the toilet, even if the school itself isn’t a toilet. And a degree from a respectable school leaves an even more indelible scarlet letter than a toilet.

    Law has not offered even somewhat long-term careers for some time now; the education is worth neither the time nor the money presently charged for it. The time is something you can’t default on ... and never can get back. The paradox is that law is now solely a proposition for the bottom-racing entrepreneur. But folks who have good entrepreneurial skills also have the smarts to look at the profession’s trajectory– extreme over-saturation, declining market, free fall of rates– and avoid it like the plague.

    1. We've been perfectly plain about "respectable" schools:


      Note that even such "prestigious" schools as Vanderbilt, Georgetown, and UCLA fall into Tier 4 ("Expect a disastrous outcome").

  7. Pretty soon they'll be accepting the SAT and ACT; wanna bet applications go up next year, too?:


    1. Can youse draw the clown on the back of this matchbook? If so, youse can git a great job as a loyer! Send a self-addressed stamped envelope to…

  8. University of Minnesota Law asked for a $12 million subsidy from the Regents to make up for a 30 percent decline in enrollment.... imagine how much they'd demand if they had no students.

  9. Off topic. It's official, John Marshall in Chicago and UIC have joined together to create the most amazing, tremendous law school in history, the UIC John Marshall Law School.

    In the official announcement today, the UIC Chancellor spouted the usual platitudes such as, the merger “will fill a...gap in [our] academic offerings as a comprehensive research university,” “Chicago is the largest city in the U.S. without a public law school,” the school will “enhance legal services available to the people of Chicago,” and many other gems. UIC claims they are paying nothing in the transaction and John Marshall’s assets will be transferred to UIC. Of course, the announcement failed to mention the cost of paying exorbitant salaries to lazy law professors and deans. And it is unclear if the new school will continue with the lax admission standards or conditional scholarships. Of the 147 students matriculating in 2016-2017 with conditional scholarships, 66 (45%) had their scholarship reduced or eliminated.

    UIC is taking on an abysmal law school. 13% of the class of 2017 was unemployed 10 months after graduation. Only 56% of graduates obtained FT, LT, bar passage required employment. The July 2016 Illinois first time bar passage rate was 65%.

    I suspect UIC merged with John Marshall to compete with UI Urbana Champaign. For decades, UIUC operated the law school and UIC operated the med school. But a couple years ago, UIUC announced they were creating their own med school. The new public med school in Urbana just opened. Now UIC has a competing public law school.

    1. Disingenuous garbage out of UIC.

      Troy received a sculpture of a horse free of charge, but not without disastrous costs. (Like Laocoön and Cassandra, we are being ignored.) And the royal gift of a white elephant in ancient Siam famously ruined its recipient through the costs of maintenance.

      Why exactly would a profit-seeking law school dump itself onto a public university without asking for a penny, if it was not worth zero or less?

      This stupid gesture by UIC looks like nothing but irresponsible silo-building. A state that is already as good as bankrupt cannot afford such stupidity.

    2. Perhaps in the wake of Janus v. AFSCME Illinois universities are looking for more people who will stick with the union and pay dues to fund political contributions aimed at increased university appropriations. Tenure died in Vermont, lawprofs need new sources of unwarranted job security.

  10. Another failing independent law school rescued by a university.

  11. As with all independent toilets, the only remaining hope is to get some taxpayers on the hook for the pensions. Illinois is not the best place to get the gubmint to promise you a pension, but it's too late to move.