I've been writing about the illusion of "JD-Advantage" in particular for some time now. The reasons why are essentially two-fold: (1) JD-Advantage is indeed farcical and plain-old bunk at an objective level, and (2) I have first-hand experience in the same, so that makes me somewhat of a subject-matter expert. I've included a handy summary of posts on the subject over the years at the bottom should anyone need a cure for insomnia or delusions of grandeur, either one.
As we all know, a data set of one is not a data set. So before everyone starts chiming in saying "but your experience is relative and not representative, because you are just one person, and forget about your dumb posts, anyway," here is some additional information in support of the Truth(tm):
There are a number of problems with the JD Advantage category as defined. One is (or perhaps two are) its breadth and pliability. They almost certainly cause some outcomes to be reported as JD Advantage that it would make no sense ex ante to attend law school to obtain (because there are much cheaper and easier ways to achieve the same result), and thus should not be considered placement successes (in my terminology, Law Jobs). Worse, the definitional flexibility may inspire some administrators to stretch the category beyond any reasonable scope, rationalizing some “demonstrable advantage in either obtaining or performing the duties of the position,” in order to report an outcome they can claim as successful, especially in hard times.
Bam. Yessir, and a voice from the academy, no less. But wait, there's more:
For example, is paralegal or law clerk (not for a judge, but as an unlicensed assistant for other lawyers) a JD Advantage position? To be clear, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with these jobs; they are valuable, honest work, and skilled besides. But you sure wouldn’t plan to spend 3 years and $150,000 in law school in order to get these jobs—in fact, you can get a paralegal certification in one year at many inexpensive community colleges, and you don’t even need that to get an entry-level job as a paralegal. And yet the ABA’s 2019 Employment Protocols for the Class of 2019 provide that both paralegal and law clerk are presumed to be JD Advantage placements by dint of job title alone. (See here at pp. 26, 67.) In the same publication, the ABA says legal secretaries are presumed to hold a “Professional” rather than a JD Advantage position (here at p. 68), though (in my experience, at least) their work in many if not most cases is as highly skilled and law-related as paralegal work, especially at smaller firms.
Ah, the good ol' ABA, looking out for the little person. Anyway:
(more below the fold):
(more below the fold):