Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Ontario rejects proposal for new law school

While law schools have been springing up all over the US, the Canadian province of Ontario has had the sense to reject a plan to create another law school in Toronto.

Ryerson University proposed to open a law school as early as 2020. "Training, Colleges and Universities Minister Merrilee Fullerton reviewed the proposal and concluded, based on a number of factors including a surplus of students for articling positions, modest wage growth and projected job openings, that another law school in the province isn’t needed." Articling positions are apprenticeships required in Canada for admission to the bar, and for years there have not been enough articling positions for the graduates seeking them; Ontario even had to introduce an alternative to articling, the "Law Practice Program", for the many graduates who could not find articles. And those who do become lawyers may still struggle to find work: just as in the US, too many new lawyers are chasing too few jobs.

In light of the evident fact that there are already too many law schools in Canada, Ryerson had promised to "differentiate itself with what it described as a bold, new approach to legal education". Oh, really? Where have I heard that before? Every new law school claims "a bold, new approach to legal education", but not a single one delivers. Furthermore, changes to "legal education" will not address the shortage of jobs, which militates against opening yet another law school.

Ryerson's "aim was to focus on equity and diversity, while being a 'champion for ordinary citizens and driver for small businesses'". This too is a standard canard of the law-school scam. Fostering "equity and diversity" in this context amounts to luring racialized people into a trap of unemployment, for the benefit of overpaid hackademic scamsters. And the bit about "ordinary citizens" and "small businesses" refers to the common but false assertion that lawyers can make a living by serving people who cannot afford legal services. Yes, millions of people go without the legal help that they need—because they can't or won't pay for it. Serving such people is no way to make money.

Ryerson's would-have-been toilet needed funding that the provincial government was unwilling to provide. Apparently the provincial government also rejected the proposal to "bridge the gap by charging higher fees".

So Ryerson's proposed toilet law school was unneeded, unaffordable, and useless. What's not to like?


  1. This is kind of fun to read and it makes one wonder about the premise of "Education" on a very basic level.

  2. This is exactly what the ABA should have been doing for years- evaluating supply and demand for legal services and limiting new law schools and law school seats accordingly. Canada is at least prohibiting new law schools and trying to place new lawyers of which there is also an oversupply.

    The ABA's battle cry of "Antitrust" is specious. The accrediting body of the ABA has never actually addressed with any due diligence the issue of antitrust and lawyer oversupply.

    The problem of severe lawyer oversupply in the US is something that many 1Ls do not understand. Even a degree from a top 8 law school far from guarantees employment over the long term. I can tell you that from my experience of applying for about 500 jobs as an older lawyer over a period of a few years of unemployment and underemployment and coming up empty handed. People see 98% employment and $180,000 salaries from the first year employment statistics of these schools. The truth is, many graduates of these schools are not even earning half of that amount and are spending extended periods of time in unemployment and underemployment, while in a futile search for jobs or clients.

    The ABA needs to take the oversupply of lawyers seriously and start acting on it -first by limiting new law schools and then by reducing allowable law school seats.

    1. Actually, Canada has seen two new law schools in recent years, though there had been none for decades. One of them, aggressively Christian, barred students and faculty alike from sexual activity outside a "marriage between one man and one woman", even though same-sex marriage has been available in Canada for most of this century. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that the bar associations could exclude graduates of this Christ-humping hell-pit. Suddenly the heterosexist rule that had been so vital to the school's religious mission was dropped.

      The other new Canadian law school was sued earlier this week by its former dean, an Indigenous woman who claims to have been driven out by systemic racism.

      So Canada's experience with new law schools has been almost as disgraceful as the US's.

  3. Education in Canada and most Dominion countries is under the aegis, and is publically funded, of the government and, hence, has the responsibility to equate supply and demand. There has to be proven need to expand seats. This is the opposite of the U.S.' "demand based" model of asses in seats.

  4. Old Guy, I've enjoyed many of your posts. You seem like an analytical and intelligent person. However, I've also noticed that you (and a few other posters) have personally attacked many profs (and students, to a lesser degree) with rather degrading insults. Maybe I'm wrong, but doing so really detracts from your credibility. I'm assuming that you've met -- and personally know -- the profs that you and others ridiculed. And remember, people read what you write.

    1. There is so much that is so wrong with law school, and that has been the case for many decades. Respectfully, I don't see anything wrong with pointing that out. People seem to understand that only the top 10 percent of most law schools have a shot at big firm employment and federal clerkships. . .but what they don't acknowledge is that 90 percent of the class will be effective barred from OCI (On Campus Interview) ignored by Career Services and generally find themselves in a very difficult position. Think about that. If applicants knew--really knew and understood--that 90 percent of them would be barred from the good jobs. . .I mean, if you were at an airport and were told 90 percent of these planes are going to crash, so cross your fingers and hope that you get lucky, would you board the plane?

    2. For at least the 75 years law school deans have loudly and proudly told applicants grandious stories about how some of their graduates start prestigious jobs making, in 2018 dollars, over 150,000 per year (sometimes well over that). In all of the years that all of the Deans have made this technically true boast, do you think a single one of them has told prospective students "90 percent of you won't even be given the opportunity to interview for one of those jobs." If a Dean told a parent I expect you to fork over 150,000 dollars for your son's 3 year law school education, and there is a 90 percent chance that he will never even be considered for one of these top jobs, and in fact, he may well not get a job as a lawyer at all three years and 150 thousand dollars later, what do you think that parent holding the checkbook would do? You could probably solve the law school scam very quickly if people were just honest about student outcome.

  5. This journalist often likely maybe seems pro student lending (all indications are and perhaps) but even he reported on the remarks of Devos.

    Look, the scamblogs once drew attention but time has gone by and my guess is that the overall problem is really one of there being a large or macroeconomic trend downwards over one, two or three decades but I won't commit to that. The trend is about student lending of course and present day concerns (maybe) involve notions (unfounded maybe) that the very economy will be dragged down by now. Sure profits have been made all around by the educational system and the government but given the reality that default rates on student debt are climbing to alarming levels by now........well.......calling it a failed social experiment is interesting and one has to wonder. One has to wonder why law and other graduate schools were the worst offenders when it came to it all. I mean really: an dentist with a million dollars of student debt?

    I think this blog is getting tired out frankly. If there were complaints in the past about the debt loads no relief ever came even though maybe most every legal educator became aware of there debt problems and could have done more maybe. Maybe.

    No relief ever came and the debt compounded and grew and grew and grew and no relief will ever come until a market correction comes and the 1.5 trillion dollar bubble collapses.

    The foregoing is tendered in a speculative, inquisitive and non committal manner and spirit and absolutely nothing is to be taken as a statement so help me as sure as the seas do roll and the sun is in the firmament among Learned Hand and Oliver Holmes and Cardoza who I think but I'm not sure could have once said: "Though we may hold the wise man's stone, the stone will be without the wise man and the wise man has 1.5 trillion bucks :)

    1. The blog is getting tired, but the problem still exists, that there are too many (expensive) schools for a contracting profession.

      The debt isn't the real problem, the debt could be justified if there was a reasonable expectation of employment but there isn't.

      Actually we appear to be entering a structural period of moderate inflation - 3% or so. This should make it easier for people to repay loans over time, although it might not be enough.

      As far as the federal deficits, I read an article that it might be wiser for the government to default on its debt rather than try to get out of it through hyperinflation, which might be its only two options if this thing continues.

    2. This blog is very useful. Even without debt, lawyers in the second half of their careers, including those who never incurred debt are finding that the demand is not there for legal services.

      The huge oversupply of lawyers and relative scarcity of jobs by probably a 2:1 ratio is a big problem.

      Having a degree, including an elite degree, where the lawyer is going to spend as much time looking for work as working is a big problem.

      This blog is very important because it contains current warnings about the terrible state of the job market for lawyers,

  6. This blog remains essential and, if anything, is not broadcasting the truth loud enough.

    The Law School Scam extends far, far beyond law school. Yes, it is absolutely true that law schools are significantly over-priced, doctrinally outdated, obsessed with prestige and petty hierarchies of ranking, and increasingly reliant on student lending practices of questionable integrity. And yes, there are third, fourth and apparently fifth tier toilets out there. These points have all been made. And many people are now dulled by the repetition of these documented facts. But that's just griping about law school.

    But that's just the starters. Look beyond law school. Similar to the loan practices, the schools also need to have a steady stream of students to fill the seats year after year . . . . after year, and the biglaw hiring practicies dovetail with this assembly line production. That's the true problem. The overproduction of lawyers --which continues at a steady rate even despite the recent corrections and publicity-- ensures that the coveted Biglaw jobs have a short shelf life and that a "career" in this profession is nonexistant.

    You're getting a pricy three-year education for at absolute, absolute best, a nicely paid job that lasts about two or three years. Then you're out on your own to struggle solo in a market that has long since past the saturation point, and in which technology is narrowing the opportunities. You can quibble about "nicely paid" and "two to three years" but them's the facts.

    As said above, this blog is very important because it contains current warnings about the terrible state of the job market for lawyers and the dire long term outcome. If considering law school-- don't.

    1. I wonder about the results. It's a fact that most of the scam blogs stop at some point. I assume it's because people move on with their lives. Maybe in law, maybe in something else. But it doesn't actually seem the number of total washouts is anywhere near what you'd think from the scam blog stories/movement.

      The movement is essentially dead. OldGuy is the only remaining blogger left that posts anything at all semi-regularly. Even Nando closed shop and took his blog offline. TomtheTemp hasn't had a post in ages and might also be down (I haven't checked in forever).

      Maybe it really was just poor economic timing. The classes of 2007-2009 got crushed and that's really when the blogs proliferated. 2010 onwards was a recovery. But regardless, we're about a decade removed from that. If the scam was that bad, we'd have had a constant stream of new blogs and voices replacing the old guard as they got tired or eventually moved on (and we'd also have people leaving their blogs up). Instead, it's really only Old Guy, Campos a bit, and that's really it, with everyone else erasing their blogs when they leave.

      I'm not going to dissuade anyone from going to law school. I would suggest they consider other options first, but then all I will ever say is try to go to the best school you can get into, and just leave it at that.

    2. Old Guy can certainly stop posting if there is insufficient interest.

      I'm sick of trying—not only on this blog and in the legal "profession", but in life generally. My efforts go to waste, and at my age I see that there is really nothing else to do.

    3. OG, there's no question, you've done God's work, but the reality is-nobody listens. Ok, some listen, but with applications increasing, it's a reality that the message hasn't gotten through.
      And things are no better now than they were during the Great Recession; all the GR did was shine a light on the scam, really for the first time. There are still way too many lawyers-as in 2x-JDs graduated every year, and the law is still a prestige hound profession. So if you are over 50, or or are a new grad and went to one of the many lousy law schools out there, you've got little to no chance of finding a job. That's the way it is; simply put, about 100-or more-law schools need to close to balance grads to jobs, so that grads could get salaries which pay off debt and make law school worth it-but we're nowhere near that.
      So frankly you're playing the role of the Old Testament prophet, as a voice crying in the wilderness. People just don't listen-but the job market is still a disaster for new grads and older attorneys, and the trends indicate that is not going to change. IN fact, it will get worse, and it's not going to get better. There is no "recovery" in sight because the market is so flooded with JDs and the legal market itself has contracted dramatically.
      So is it worth your time? Can't really say-but it is absolute that people ought to be listening to what you're saying.

    4. The only way it makes sense that the scam is really that destructive yet there is a dearth of bloggers and complaints about it is if most people have moved onto another platform. I don't know if that's true or not, but if it is, I'd have to believe it should be linked on this blog with an entry highlighting that the scam is ongoing and the human toll it takes.

      Otherwise I just have to conclude it's an extreme minority that have issues, while the vast majority are satisfied and are gainfully employed in stable positions that allow people to live their lives normally.

    5. At least 40% of all lawyers in the US are likely suffering from unemployment or underemployment.

      There are only 612,000 lawyer jobs in US that an actual employer who has a business establishment is claiming.

      There are another 160,000 or so self-employed jobs encompassing lawyers who do not work from business establishments. The current population survey indicates that well over 1.1 million people work as lawyers.

      There are not by a long shot enough jobs for everyone who says they work as a lawyer.

      There is not good data on the incomes of the self employed, but IRS data indicates incomes of about $50,000 a year for the group of self-employed lawyers that actually have any income.

      There are 1.33 million licensed lawyers in the US.

      Unless lawyers are satisfied with less than 1 real job for every 2 lawyers and self-employed work that is very low paying, there is a lot of hardship in lawyer job market.

      Combine this with many new law grads not getting jobs as lawyers, up or out policies in law, a huge portion of lawyer jobs with experience limits, as to being hired or holding the job, and very high tuition for a three year degree.

      You have a legal profession that is suffering from a job crisis.

      People may not blog about this. However, the numbers don't lie. A huge portion of lawyers are not able practice law on a full-time permanent basis for what they had hoped would be their career.

    6. These stats are a little confusing, although also telling.

      You cite one source that indicate that there are 772,000 employed attorneys, combined as of counsel, corporate, govt. etc. and self employed.

      The second is that there are 1.1 million people working as attorneys out of a population of 1.3 million licensed attorneys.

      If the 1.3 million figure is correct that would mean from the first stat about 60% of licensed attorneys are working as such. The second stat would mean that 85% are.

      I think the second stat is implausible. The first is plausible, but 60% feels a little high.

      Furthermore, the 1.3 million figure seems a little low. Some states have inactive status attorneys are these being included? The 1.1 figure sounds more like it should day 1.1 million licensed attorneys have jobs, but not all or many necessarily as attorneys. The same game the law schools pull.

      I keep thinking the 50% (and falling) percentage is the right one.

  7. The people who stopped blogging probably needed to redirect their energy toward making money in order to keep the debt-wolf off their backs.

  8. You guys are indescribably pathetic. Writing posts complaining about exactly the same things you were whining about back in 2012. Not doing any new research. Just rehashing ancient complaints. And no one is listening except a few other losers who were never going to be lawyers anyway and want to feel better about their failures.

    It's ironic the OPs user name is "Old Guy," because y'all really need to grow up.

    1. No, the true irony is that a Master of the Universe such as yourself would deign to visit a lowly blog, let alone share your fatuous pearls of wisdom.
      Here's the reality: things are worse, not better, for attorneys and newly-minted JDs than they were in 2012. The systematic and permanent changes in legal employment have fully taken root, and employment prospects are terrible and will remain so, possibly forever. So the scam will continue to crank out new lawyers for whom there are no jobs and no real prospect of paying off the enormous debt incurred for the worthless JD.
      But feel free to stop by anytime, to share your utterly uninformed worldview.

  9. It is really insulting to me to suggest this blog is not useful or important. There are real structural problems with the legal profession. The biggest problem centers on the inability most lawyers will have finding enough work. It is important for prospective lawyers to understand that they are likely to be unemployed or underemployed for much of the time they want to work.

    The opportunity cost of attending law school is huge. It really stinks spending most of one's time on a futile job search and ending up in jobs that end after several months or a few years due to economic factors and the business model of the employer. There are long periods of unemployment between jobs and years long job searches involving hundreds of applications only to land a temp job that lasts a few weeks. Law is not a stable profession.

    The incomes of many experienced lawyers in big cities who at one point held elite lawyer jobs are much lower than for collectively bargained governmental employees because lawyers, unlike government employees, have long gaps in employment, poor retirement and health benefits and poor job stability.

    Please keep this blog going!

  10. I haven’t posted here in some time, but I want to express my thanks to the authors of this blog for doing God’s work.

    The scamblogs have saved thousands of people from being anhilated and/or from finding themselves in a worse position for attending law school.

    Law school isn’t worth it for anyone unless they are rich and are doing it for the prestige or if they want to become a law school professor. If you got biglaw, you would have been better in investment banking. If you are in patent law, you would have been better off as a doctor or an engineer. If you are in tax, you would have been better off as a CPA.

    If you can get into Harvard law, you can get into Harvard business school. The latter has more upside and less downside. If you can get into a T25, you could get a high paid job in a municipality. If you get into a T2, you can get a decent paid job in a rich municipality, etc. If you can succeed being a salesperson in personal injury, there’s more money to be made in real estate and with less liability.

    The scam rolls on because of lower income and/or immigrant communities that don’t believe the changes in the legal field. I was speaking to a Dominican Uber driver a few months ago. His son is a lawyer and his nephew is a cop. The nephew is buying a house and the lawyer is living at home. Since we shared a similar culture after I laid it down for him, he understood what the deal was. He even told me that people warned his son what was going to happen, but he pushed his son telling him it was just white people trying to keep him down.

    When the next recession happens, the real reckoning is going to happen for these law school professor cockaroaches.

    In the mean time, even if enrollment increases, at least we have saved thousands and can continue to save a few by being a smalll light in the darkness.

    1. The white people keeping racialized people down are the goddamn scamsters who lure them into spending a six-figure sum, typically financed with non-dischargeable debt bearing high interest, for a degree that is very unlikely to lead to an adequate career. Many scamsters go so far as to pose as "friends" of disadvantaged people and claim to offer them "opportunities". The greatest opportunity that they are offering is the opportunity to become saddled with unmanageable debt and marked with the indelible stigma of a useless degree that never led to a career.

      Law school is a white scam. Beyond that, it's a white aristocratic scam. Now and then a racialized aristocrat gets ahead in law—typically because of rich and well-connected relatives. The child of a Dominican freelance driver has a poor chance even of finding employment in law, never mind employment that pays enough to support $200k or $300k of debt from law school. And the chance approaches the vanishing point when the school is not Harvard or Yale but a toilet or an über-toilet.

      If people who have heard the warnings don't heed them, we at OTLSS can't be of any help. We cannot grab prospective law students by the shoulders and shake them until they pay attention. I'm sorry, but we've done what we could—and probably a lot more than we should have.

      The whole goddamn legal "profession" is disgusting. I wish that I had never had anything to do with it. Now my life is ruined, even though I have no debt from law school. And I don't see anything else that I can do.

    2. Therein is the essence of the scam-always find new marks, and always lie, lie, lie.
      But the media, and the public, have short attention spans. For the mainstream media, well, they did highlight the scam-and nobody paid attention, so their collective attitude is: why bother? Nobody is listening....
      And regarding the general public...well, if you've got that worthless BA, it's either the GAP or-law school! Those better versed in logic than I would probably call that a "false equivalence" or similar, and I don't disagree. But really, so many go to law school to avoid the real world. Then they graduate, and the fun really begins; it's a consumer culture, and it's tough to consume when you've got 200+K in debt and no job.
      So OG, your disgust and despair are understandable.

    3. Old Guy needs to keep looking and focus on jobs that are longer term or likely to become permanent. With his really strong academic record, some firm or business will pick up Old Guy in long-term employment.

    4. I've tried to find better jobs. I haven't succeeded.

      Another lawyer recently told me that I've merely suffered bad luck. That's not true. I've never been able to get so much as an interview from any large or stable organization, only here and there from a tiny one that was likely to go under.

      It's too late to change professions again. Yet I cannot be a lawyer and no longer want to be one. I don't know what to do. I despair of achieving anything in life.

    5. While I sympathize with Old Guy's situation, I think it necessary to point out that, as he himself states, his age is the main barrier to his entry into the field.

      Most people reading and commenting on these scam blogs, and entering classes of law students, do not have that specific characteristic.

      And in fact, if Old Guy had chose law first, in his early 20s, it is a very good chance that his age would now be working for him, a combination of seniority and age discrimination protection. Hence why law firms typically hire young people, use them up, and then throw them out long before those protections would come into play.

      Old Guy made a poor decision. That is why late life career changes are uncommon, most people understand they are locked in by that point and will only switch out when they have something lined up or where they no longer really need to make a switch (i.e., already have a pension or have other financial tools that support them, or rely on a spouse for steady income).

      The blogs die off because most young people carve out a good enough career that they don't really have a problem. Most surveys I've seen have a majority of people stating they are satisfied with their degree. If the results were really anywhere near as bad as others claim, the majority would say their degree was not worth it and they are dissatisfied.

    6. I could not have pursued law in my early twenties. I was barely able to complete my bachelor's degree, owing to difficulties with obtaining sufficient financial aid. I ended up saddled with student loans bearing high interest that could not be deferred. Law school or anything else of the kind was out of the question.

    7. To 12:58 I would like to see some of these surveys.

      I found a BLS report which states the number of employed lawyers as of May 2017 as 628,000.

      There were 1.33 million active licensed attorneys in 2017 per this report.

      That is an employment rate of 47%

      If you add in the inactive attorneys the rate is lower. And then there are those who never passed a bar exam, but that is another issue, someone who has passed a bar exam should have a reasonable expectation as employment as an attorney. Someone who cannot should reflect on their choices.

      Many or most of these satisfied law grads that you speak of are not deriving their satisfaction through the practice of law that is for sure.

    8. 12:58 You must be a law school shill. Most young people I know who are recent law school graduates do not have legal jobs. They are unemployed and looking for work and have been looking in most cases for more than a year since graduation. Law school graduates embarking on an indefinite and unsuccessful job search are highly unlikely to be satisfied with their career choice.

      It is not okay for employers to engage in age discrimination. That being said, more enforcement is necessary with respect to age discrimination.

    9. Old Guy - what was your former field/job/profession? Why can't you return to that?

    10. Sorry, I can't discuss that here; it would give my identity away. Suffice it to say that I worked in a technical field that nowadays would be called STEM (a term that didn't exist, or at least was not in vogue, when I was young). After many years out of that field, I could not go back.

  11. "When the next recession happens, the real reckoning is going to happen for these law school professor cockaroaches."

    Not just for them. We never took our medicine after the 2008 meltdown. Everything was papered over with 0% interest rates, "stimulus spending," and "quantitative easing." What's the Fed going to do next time? The deficit is what, $22 trillion? Interest rates are already at historical lows and the smallest hint of a quarter percent rate increase sends the market into a tailspin. No one really talks about it, but I think most people know that there are some dark days heading our way.

  12. Without elaborating, it was suggested above that some people have "moved on" in a general sense. That is my feeling too and what else could they do? Everyone has to earn a living whether the income is made in or out of the field.

    There is a sort of, well, a type of, let's say a remedy. Yes, let's call it that. A good word. I'm fond of the words "remedy" and "remedial." For the Federal debt there is likely the remedy of a lifetime of IBR and later Social Security garnishment. Just google "student debt and retirement/Social Security" and it seems that the number or retirees in the predicament will only increase over time.

    Last summer I was in a supermarket and I spoke with a young guy who was working there. He was in his early twenties and he proudly mentioned that he was going to go to a law school. As I stood in my dusty work dungarees, worn brogans and ripped flannel shirt, what I gave the youngster in reply was a grimace. Yes, it was not so much a wry, sardonic, discouraging look which I bestowed upon the naïve fellow as it was an expression of mine that only experience could have informed.

    Then I spoke and, forgive me, but I used an idiom. I said that I did not want to "rain on his parade" after which I warned him about the job market and the debt. I also gestured with my chin towards the people operating the cash registers and, narrowing my eyes I said: "They have law degrees." Then I added: "The delivery trucks which come to the back of this store every morning are all, without exception, driven by lawyers and the Dunkin Donuts over yonder crost' the asphalt parking lot is staffed by three once proud and now brought low attorneys. To their credit though, they are excellent at brewing up the coffee for ever grateful consumers such as you and I."

    Did the young man heed my words? I doubt it. However, I decided to use another idiom. Yes I did, and I said: "Not for nuthin'" kid, but.....
    if you insist on going to law school, don't borrow any more than what your projected first year's salary will be when finally out of school."

    I did not make it up. Such is the advice of Mark Kantrowitz or at least I seem to recall him making a statement like that in so many words.

    That young man is out there now somewhere. Maybe he busy learning in a fine institution of law and one fine fine day he'll be riding on a shoeshine and a smile and, what with him being older and all the wiser, grimacing at someone younger than himself with a special grimace that only the readers who have flocked to this and other related blogs (some or many of which are, admittedly, now extinct.)

    He will have to hurry though if he is to give any advice to the youngster because his boss might see that his broom has not been sweeping for over a minute.

    (A low oboe is heard and the stage goes dark as the curtain slowly closes on this sad drama.)

    1. Nice effort, but he won't heed your advice.

      I cannot recommend using the "projected first year's salary" as the maximum for debt, as people will "project" their way to outlandish salaries. Lemmings imagine that they are going to make $200k rather than $30k or $40k—or perhaps nothing at all, like the many graduates who are unemployed ten months after graduation. Instead, tell them not to borrow more than, say, $40k for law school—which would mean that the vast majority of them could not attend.

  13. With respect to posters, there is a difference between those who went to law school before the scam was publicized and those who went after. Those who went after only have themselves to blame. Many of these people scored poorly on the LSAT because they do not read often, including reading this blog and the others that were out there. People who are intentional screw ups do not like to remind themselves of their folly,

    The people who went to law school before the scam was known are outraged. They gave up other options, as in Old Guy's case a career in STEM, for a very poor legal career. For many other lawyers who graduated with elite records, went to elite jobs and found themselves hopelessly unemployed or underemployed, the scam really burns.

    The elites are going to find their way to this blog. The law schools telling them the scam does not affect [name an elite law school} was a lie. The scam affects huge numbers of lawyers from every US law school, but may take its nasty effect later on in a career than for the non-elites.

    1. I should have known better. There may have been a way for me to find out about the prevalence—the near ubiquity—of age-based discrimination in the legal profession. I obviously did not know enough.

      My career in STEM was already over, for similar reasons. But law was a bad idea. Yet it at least seemed plausible that I would have a good legal career. That cannot be said of the thousands of toileteers.

    2. Either you go back to STEM, Old Guy, maybe with new training. For example, Microsoft and universities have almost free certificates in various areas of computer science that you could take online. Maybe that would help.

      Alternately, if you are only out of law school five or fewer years, maybe you have had a bad stretch of jobs. Maybe you could get an in house job that turns out to be long term. On the positive side, you have been able to land a number of jobs.

      It may be better to list the attorney jobs after your clerkship as short-term work, so it does not look like so many jobs in such a short period of time, and to describe the areas where you have developed expertise. Maybe take off your year of college graduation and just describe in general terms your stem career saying something like "Worked as a software engineer before attending law school."

    3. I list on my résumé only my few years in law, not my thirty-odd years of experience in a range of fields. I also don't list my dates of graduation.

    4. Maybe try for jobs that relate to your STEM experience Old Guy. If you put a brief description of that experience, it may be helpful . For example, if you have bio tech or pharma experience, many corporations would be interested. Same with infrastructure or aeronautical engineering. Maybe focus on those who work in or represent your prior industry. As long as you are not yet 65, you should be in the running for jobs that want people who understand your area of expertise.

  14. A very relevant economic comparison would be what the prospective lawyer could earn as a public school teacher in the area where the person lives. Where I live, public school teachers are handsomely paid with incredible health and retirement benefits. It is very hard for lawyers to meet or beat that compensation after 15 or more years as a teacher, since teacher pay goes up with experience.

    1. The highest demand for teachers is for math and science. Most lawyers do not have the background to be hired as math or science teachers.

    2. 8:30 PM . That is the stupidest comment. Most lawyers can easily teach at the elementary or junior high level. At the high school level, there are a lot of lawyers who did well in math and science and could teach if they refreshed their knowledge of the subject matter.

      Commenters on this blog assume incorrectly that most lawyers are terrible math and science students. My cohort has mostly lawyers who are excellent at math and science.

      Maybe toileteers are bad at math and science, but their reading and writing skills are often equally bad.

    3. Well then they are free to apply.

    4. I know quite enough mathematics to teach the subject even at the university level, tomorrow morning if necessary. But I could not get a teaching position. In university, a high and relatively recent degree in the subject is required; below that, a teaching license, which apparently doesn't require much knowledge of math but does require a whole slate of candy-ass courses on drug abuse and the like. It would take me a few years to become certified as a teacher. And then would I find work?

  15. One of the reasons I became a lawyer is that if you don't make it to medical school, science and math are utterly worthless. As bad as law is, STEM is typically worse outside of electrical and mechanical engineering and newer tech, but tech can be a major issue because it's constantly changing and has similar or worse long term problems for most.

    Medicine, finance and accounting are the best fields long term. Medicine costs too much to start and delays life by too much. Better to do the other two.

    I would recommend avoiding STEM in general. It's oversaturated, the same way law and teaching are. Most of this stuff is luck, if you don't have connections you have to luck into a not in demand field, get hired and establish yourself, and then when it gets hot you take off with it. But nobody can predict that. If the fields are matured then it's cutthroat to get in and make money because the old guard already took the spots and will give them to their children if they at all can (and any rational human being is going to do that, cries of nepotism be damned, no decent parent is going to fuck over their own children for the benefit of some strangers).

  16. A big issue faced by Old Guy is experience limits as a job qualification in law. An employer can legitimately say that they are looking for a midlevel associate with 2-4 years of experience and exclude someone who worked for 20 years before law school based on that non-legal experience. The employer is looking for a relatively green employee. Unfortunately, in an oversaturated profession like law, experience limits have a dire effect on the employment opportunities of older people.

    1. The dilemma of the unemployed late middle aged person who lacks the latest in demand skills is a societal problem. A problem which is not taken very seriously and gets little attention.

    2. @ Anonymous Dec 11th, 11:11 -
      You got that right - experience caps are common.

      In fact....

      There's a lawsuit pending right now where a veteran lawyer is suing under the theory that this constitutes age discrimination. If THIS guy cannot find a job, imagine the hordes of lemmings who cannot:

      "Overqualified? Or too old? Age discrimination case takes aim at biased recruiting practices."

      Here are some bullet points

      * Dale Kleber, a veteran lawyer, had been unemployed and job hunting for three years when he came across a position that seemed promising, but for this part of the ad: “3 to 7 years (no more than 7 years) of relevant legal experience,” it said.

      * Kleber, 58 at the time, had decades of experience, including as general counsel at Dean Foods and, most recently, as CEO of a dairy products trade group. But his efforts to land a new job at that level had been unsuccessful, and he didn’t want to draw down his retirement accounts to make ends meet.

      * Eventually Kleber sued, claiming the seven-year experience cap discriminated against older applicants.

  17. We're all offering all sorts of advice to OG, so I'll give my two cents', as I suspect that he and I are very close in age.
    1. Yes, if you've got a math/science background, you can get a job as a teacher. However, all jds require that teachers be licensed, which means that you've got to get that teaching certificate. Some districts are so desperate for teachers that they have programs where they'll hire you and then give you the training-but again, only for math/science/some foreign language/special ed, and only for preliminary certification. And keep in mind that in order to get a permanent teacher's license, you'll need a master's degree in most states. So it's a lot of time and a lot of money; I know people who have done it at my age-retired from other jobs, etc-and I admire their dedication. Which brings me to
    2. Do you really want to be a teacher? A good teacher? We've got plenty of lousy teachers, and some fabulous ones-I've decided it takes a special person to be a good teacher. And it begins you want to be a teacher, and try to deal with teenagers/adolescents/toddlers all day? And then deal with their parents? It takes a dedicated person to be a good teacher, and as noted in #1, it takes time and money. Not an easy decision when you're over 50.

    Regarding age discrimination, in the law it is rampant. As pointed out above, most firms want younger lawyers, if only because they believe they can work them harder and get more out of them-with no pushback oldsters might give.
    And here's the reality: an acquaintance is an attorney with fed EEOC. I went complaining to him, and he told me that they have so many egregious race/sex harassment cases(in other words, cases with jury appeal) that his office doesn't even consider age discrimination cases. And private counsel? Well, I have spoken with several-and they would take the case if somehow it morphed into a class action. Not sure how to do that...take out an ad in the bar journal?
    So yes, age discrimination exists...but good luck fighting it.

    1. You're almost there. It isn't exactly age discrimination, it's corporate discrimination. They want people in their first job as associates or someone in their second job with a prior law firm job, and for the reason you state, the youngun's will work un-Godly hours, the oldsters were bred on reasonable hours and a mother hen HR department. All generalizations and stereotypes are by their nature unfair, but they often arise from a kernel of truth. The truths of ex-corporate animals are:

      1. I have witnessed in-house lawyers going over to law firms and balking at the working hours. I once second chaired the defense in an age discrimination trial brought by some in-house lawyers. One felt that having once in his career worked a whole weekend to get the annual report out damned near qualified him as a martyr. I had been working whole weekends for weeks getting ready for the trial (which we won).

      2. People who are used to a corporate structure see themselves as lateral hires. If they were a manager or director of something or another they expect to start in a law firm at a similar level rather than take their place on the treadmill with the new graduates because they, too, in point of fact are new graduates if they never worked in a private practice environment before.

      But whether what goes on every day is right or wrong, you make the point well. No one cares about your problem. The government hasn't got the resources. Private lawyers used to make a killing on age cases but the defense lawyers, as happened in med malpractice, developed better strategies making contingent fees too risky in a lot of cases.

      All anyone can do is try to spread the word to people looking for a lucrative second career in the law that it is a bad idea. I think you will have better luck with them than with undergrad lemmings.

    2. The problem has a flip side of older lawyers with extremely elite degrees finding those degrees have no economic value when the lawyer turns 50 and has a job loss. Experience limits are omnipresent in open legal jobs. The anti-discrimination laws apply on an employer-by-employer basis. In some markets, 80% or more of the open legal jobs in a given area will be for lawyers with less than 6 years of experience. That presents a real ethical issue because people are being run through legal jobs and pushed out, like Mr. Kleber, with little possibility of getting a new job. Harvard or Yale do not matter here. Being inexperienced, but actually having at least one year of relevant experience, is the most important factor in the legal job market right now.

    3. Exactly: the problem of discrimination is handled on an individual basis (each employer), even though it is obviously societal in nature. Treating it as millions of isolated cases rather than as a uniform problem only perpetuates it.

    4. While I agree with the above, it should be noted that age discrimination can be pretty crude. I've been asked "how much longer do you plan to keep working" and "how old are your children" and "do you have any grandchildren" and the like. All these questions are arguably actionable, but what's the point? It's a hopeless battle.

  18. Well I have posted two opinions here and Old obviously have refused to publish them. I guess you are not much of a believer in Freedom of thought or freedom of speech, eh? You just can't seem to stand the thought of those not agreeing with since this won't be published, let me simply state that as a lawyer and knowing a number of lawyers...all of those who want to be working...if but for themselves, are managing to make a living. Why can't you?

    1. I don't know who you are or what you wrote, but I don't believe that it was I who rejected your comments. You would have no way to know which of the many people who run this site approved or declined any particular comment, so your allegation against me is groundless.

      We do have to monitor comments. If we did not, there would be dozens or hundreds of pieces of spam for every legitimate comment, and the site would be unusable. Almost all comments that are not spam are approved for publication. We do block a few that, like the above, consist of nothing but personal attacks or other rubbish. If your two prior "opinions" were of a similar nature to your latest comment, I am not surprised that they were blocked.

    2. So Mr. Ellipsis is back, valiantly defending the fraud that is law school. If you're such a smashing success, and all your lawyer friends are such smashing successes, why are you bothering to show up here? Aren't you too busy saving (fill in the blank) while still making millions on the side? The reality is you're not a lawyer, and the only lawyers you know are on TV shows.
      The scamsters have money, power, authority, societal respect, paid lobbyists, a massive national organization(actually organizations-the ABA, AALS,), marketing consultants, etc-all the things that ill-gotten gains can buy. They're the Mob with good plastic surgery.
      This blog has nothing but words and the truth-that's it.
      So what compels you to visit, with your fractured grammar, to spew the scam creed?

    3. The whole point of this blog is that it is so difficult to make a living as a lawyer. It is not that Old Guy is not making a living - he is. The issue is the quality and stability of the legal jobs he is getting after an elite law degree and a federal clerkship. The jobs are temporary or are unstable. Even taking a high salary of $180,000, the salary is not all that high if the lawyer has to spend half of his working hours on a job search and can only work the other half of the time. In New York City, a 22 year teacher earns $120,000 plus a pension plan, free health insurance for the employee and his family and retiree medical paid for by the City, for life after he retires. The public school teacher earns much higher compensation than a 50 year old lawyer who has lost his or her job is going to get anywhere.

      Could Old Guy make $120,000? Yes, but his jobs are so unstable that he cannot count on any job or any income from being a lawyer.

      A big part of the problem is that the hiring is mostly of young people. An old lawyer needs to be a specialist in an area where the lawyer is somewhat known to get a job. it is like a club based on being around for a while. That is hard to do when you went to law school late, as Old Guy did and have had only a few years in law practice.

    4. Just as in the days of Brown vs. Board of Education, as for black and white schools, today there are two job markets. One is for people over the age 55 or so, who are mostly left in the temporary job market or with low paying smaller law firms. The other, lucrative job market is for the younger people.

      Since legal jobs do not typically last a lifetime, many lawyers age 60 or so find themselves on an endless train of look for job for a long time, finally get job, job ends because it was temporary or unstable in the first place.

  19. The battle against the scam makes makes Sisyphus' task looks easy, for oe simple reason: most don't listen. There's no reason, at all, law school enrollment ought to be increasing, but increase it has:
    And student debt? Well, yeah, that's way up too:
    There are few, very very few, who will listen to-or even consider-the advice given here. But for those few, it's life saving advice.
    It's understandable Nando and the others closed up shop; mixing my mythical metaphors, fighting the scam is like cursing the darkness or ordering the tides to roll back. But it is noble work, and some are saved, while the many won't listen. So fight as long as you can; it's a worthy cause.