Friday, August 16, 2019

"Being a Law Firm Partner Was Once a Job for Life. That Culture Is All but Dead."

An interesting article from the Wall Street Journal, from August 9, 2019.  This headline will surprise virtually no one except K-JD gunners, but it still bears reading for those who still think law school is a done-deal.  It also echoes many, many prior comments on this blog alone from seasoned practitioners that warn that the Law School sugar-plum-fairy pipedreams of Big Law (or Mid-Law, or Small Law) should not be taken without copious amounts of salt.

Being named a partner once meant joining a band of lawyers who jointly tended to longtime clients and took home comfortable, and roughly equal, paychecks. Job security was virtually guaranteed and partners rarely jumped ship. 

That model, and the culture that grew up around it, is all but dead. Law firms are now often partnerships in name only. Full-time chief executives, some without law degrees, have replaced the senior partner running human resources and accounting. Law firm names have trended toward the shorter and snappier, more befitting a tote bag than a law library.

Many firms have expanded rapidly to mirror the growth of their corporate clients, with hundreds of partners spread around the world. The largest, Dentons, recently hit 10,000 lawyers in 78 countries, around a third of them partners.

“Can you be partners with someone you don’t even know?” said legal consultant Aric Press.

In the new paradigm, lawyers are expendable, and partners may jump to a competitor for the right amount of money, taking as many clients as possible with them on the way out.

One criticism I have is the discussion of top partners making $1.75 million to $15 million, while the lower-caste partners "only" make $800,000.00 at someplace like a Kirkland & Ellis.  All too many gunners and Law School Deans alike look at that and say, "well, that's a problem I'd like to have, ha ha," which completely misconstrues the point:

As firms compete to keep profits rising for those at the top, lawyers further down the ladder are sometimes getting left behind. Promising associates who could once expect to be named a partner within seven or eight years are waiting 10 years or more.

Firms have created new steppingstones along the way to appease them—and keep them grinding.

One newly promoted partner at a big firm said he was shocked to learn he would have to spend a year as counsel, an increasingly popular interim title. The firm told him it was to prepare him for the bigger change of being partner. “I wouldn’t be a cynical lawyer if I didn’t think there were other profit-motive reasons,” he said.

Another popular stop-off is “non-equity partner,” the title held by those 560 Kirkland lawyers not invited to the California retreat. They earn a salary rather than sharing firm profits.

And, of course, the model has changed since the 80s (or 70s, or 60s):

Making partner doesn’t just take longer. It takes hustle. A few decades ago, partner titles were handed out largely on the basis of being technically proficient. Now, being a business generator is a crucial component.

Janice Mac Avoy, a Fried Frank partner, said when she earned the partner title 23 years ago, the business model was “wait for the phone to ring” and do a good job for the client on the other end.

When a partner suggested a lawyer being considered for promotion had great contacts and could generate new business, she recalls a fellow partner saying, “You know that’s not an appropriate consideration.”

Those who do make the cut encounter a new set of stressors. Bureaucratic tasks pile on top of the same billable-hour expectations. New partners face pressure to bring in enough new business to cover their own salary, plus those beneath them.

Kevin Smith went to law school in the early 2000s because he had lawyers in his family and wasn’t sure what else to do. After graduating, he clerked for two federal judges then joined an international law firm.

Making partner five years later was one of the best days of his life, he says. He soon realized the new title “makes all the bad things worse” about working in a law firm. “There’s more email, more of the blame if anything goes wrong, just more stress in general,” he said. 

After 6½ years, he quit the partnership to travel abroad while working part time for the firm. 

Of course, the Law School Cartel mentions none of this.  Often, it is these same attorneys who leave these same realities in order to become Law School Professors, thereby indirectly encouraging others to make the same errors they made.  But no one really talks about this except the scamblogs, who are largely comprised of people who know.

So, yes, back in the "halcyon" days of law practice (if there ever truly was such a thing), working for a large firm was likely the correct way to go, and if you can somehow manage to get the Golden Ticket, perhaps even now.  That is rarely the case today, and as indicated above has little to do with being technically proficient and "waiting for the phone to ring", or in some cases even being able to generate some business.  As is the case with many things, a few get spectacular results, more get good but profoundly difficult results, and many, many more are shown the door.  Like many things in life it is a numbers game, and when a firm has thousands of lawyers with a multiple-caste system, the odds are not good.

0Ls, pay heed to this.  The Cartel wants you to sign on the dotted line, and they are loathe to talk about the realities on the ground because the same realities would give any reasonable person pause, especially when the alternative is hanging a shingle Day One.  The world has changed a bit since 1960 or 1980, yet the Cartel pretends that everything is the same as it ever was.


  1. How many people go into big law today expecting to be made partners? My guess is most want the experience and the resume and then they move on to either government work or general counsel work, where they have quality of life and still interesting work and reasonable income. Its like the rest of America, there is no long term careers in private industry anymore. There is no loyalty. So people do what they can to be prepared to deal with the uncertainties of life. Law is not a bad way to go in that regard, assuming of course you can actually practice law for a while. If not, you likely were never lawyer material to begin with.

    1. Hello Troll! You refuse to acknowledge the reality that the job market for law school grads in 2019 is nearly non-existent, and that the job market for lawyers in general has been horrible for at least a decade. Instead, you slyly move to a blame-the-victim technique saying that "law is not a bad way to go" which is an absolute lie, and then that if one can't find a job as a lawyer well, "If not, you likely were never lawyer material to begin with." Wanna know why people hate lawyers so badly? Look into a mirror and you shall see the answer.

    2. If you can become a partner in biglaw, you one hundred percent could have been a teacher or cop in a wealthy suburb. Comparable money (when you factor in the pensions and benefits), infinitely better quality of life, and total job security.

      Private industry doesn’t make sense for anyone doing anything unless they come from a wealthy family and hire people to do the work. Law is just the most egregious example of the present situation.

      To this point “if not, you were likely never lawyer material to begin with.” This means you aren’t born into money and/or a total sociopath. No normal person, even if absurdly greedy, gets excited about working 100 hours a week to make 200k after taxes (under the best case scenario) in the highest cost jurisdictions in the country. Even if you are that motivated by money and can’t see any other way to make it other than being a slave , there are simply other alternatives even with that narrow and uncreative world view, eg investment banking: the hours are the same, the odds of success are equally daunting, but the money is 10 times that in law at every level along the way.

      “Where they have quality of life and still interesting work and reasonable income.
      It’s like the rest of America, there is no long term careers in private industry anymore. There is no loyalty. So people do what they can to be prepared to deal with the uncertainties of life. Law is not a bad way to go in that regard...”

      So many lies melded with truth. It’s true private industry is terrible in all regards, but law is the worst. Plenty of other private sector options for people with the intellectual capacity and work ethic to obtain biglaw, including STEM, medicine and investment banking. All three are better options if one wins the zero sum game in the respective field (with medicine still offering something other than a zero sum game). More importantly, there are options in the public sector. It’s just the culture presents the public sector as the loser move, when it isn’t, because of the reasons you stated, eg the private sector has become an absolute torture chamber, and if you can avoid it, do so. My friend took six weeks paid time off for “bronchitis” as an electrician for the CUNY school system. I can’t take a week off for far more serious matters without fear of being unemployed. I know sociopaths like you get nice and hard at the prospect of people suffering, but the fate you are suggesting as an optimal one, when in fact it is hell, is easily avoidable- especially for people with the intellectual faculties and work ethic necessary to obtain employment at a major law firm. The culture portrays being a lawyer like what it was (the article references “Mad Men”) but not what it is. Once we get around this problem, I suspect vampires like you will be denied their flesh and more importantly, law school professors will be denied their federally guaranteed subsidy, which is something I relish at. I relish at the thought of these boomer and late gen X assholes that advocated for labor policies that butchered this country to be at the mercy of people like you. I’d pay to watch it. The yield curve has inverted hard, and provided Trump wins the election, I might actually have the pleasure of seeing it happen. I can’t wait for animals like you to sink their fangs into these spoiled dirt bags that have been robbing the tax payer dry for three decades. It’s like a monster vs monster flick, where you can’t help but root for the larger and more deadlier animal.

    3. Contd:

      I can see it now: “hmmmm, Mr. Chad Pennigton IV, I see you graduated Harvard magna and clerked for Souter. Impressive. I also see you have some prolific articles on White Privilege in the context of the West Virginia Coal Mining industry, also impressive. However, you’ve been out of law school since the 90s. Do you have a book? Oh no, hmmm.... that’s unfortunate. It seems you aren’t ‘lawyer material.’ You’ll have to be satisfied with this 20 dollar an hour doc review positions available with one of our affiliates. What? Hard work and effort? Rofl Ahahahahahah. Son, your CV isn’t pristine, ergo, just be happy you eat, otherwise, I’ll just take another CV from the pile.”

    4. 6:29, having a different perspective does not equate to lying. You have your opinion i have mine. The young people i know who graduated from law school are making it, some with large firms. Some with small firms. They didn't want to be cops or teachers. Sorry you are so angry and bitter. Blame yourself for bad choices and outcomes, not other generations. Your success and failures are only on you.

    5. To 6:29, I am not sure that the public sector is seen as the loser move as much as it was especially in the 1980s and to a gradually lesser extent in the 90s and aughts. There is a lot of awareness as to the elimination of pension plans in the private sector. Even most hospitals up until fairly recently had modest pension plans for their employees. Now most have been frozen or eliminated. If you want to try an increasingly dismal field other than law, try healthcare administration.

    6. @12:12,

      But you are lying because the numbers don’t add up. You don’t know anyone that “made it” unless they were already rich to begin with.

      You didn’t make it in life if you make 200k a year in NYC working 80 hours a week, with no job security, insane stress, and student loans. You failed. You just happened not have failed as hard as other idiots that went to law school.

      Explain to me what “making it” means. Making it means being put in a position where you can eventually own some assets and retire in dignity. Law isn’t going to allow you to do that given the cost to become a lawyer, the instability of the market and the complete over saturation associated with the profession.

      “They didn’t want to be teachers or cops.”

      They didn’t want to be be teachers or cops because they have a cultural view of what law was, not what law is. Read the article, as this point is made repeatedly.

      A few points:

      ““If you get part­ners in their pri­vate mo­ments to talk about am­bi­tions for their chil­dren, I would be very sur­prised if many would ar­tic­u­late part­ner­ship in a large law firm,” said El­liott Port­noy, Den­tons’s global chief ex­ec­u­tive.”

      “It was still the ‘Mad Men’ days. We’d have three-mar­tini lunches,” he said. “At the end of the year, you looked at what was in the bank ac­count and dis­tributed it.”

      The kids think they are walking into the Mad Men lifestyle not the pure and unadulterated hell that is modern law practice.

      And the way the tax code is structured, the cop and teacher that invests aggressively and early, without wasting more years in school and paying down loans, is going to come out on top financially too because of the magic of compounding and the fact that investments are taxed at a much reduced rate in relation to money that’s earned through blood, sweat and tears.

      I blame myself for my poor decisions because the world is filled with lying predators like you that are out to deceive people so you can exploit them, hurt them and benefit from that in the process. Smart people don’t fall into the trap. They see the predators for what they are and act accordingly.

      But the fact that I Ruined my life by naively believing false boomerisms that are completely divorced from reality doesn’t mean I’m not going to stand up to liars and sociopaths like you that are trying to mislead kids for personal gain.

      So I say, you know no one that made it in law unless the kid was already rich to begin with. The numbers don’t add up. You are a liar.

    7. Didn't read the article-it's behind a paywall-but I'm confused:
      Why did it reference "Mad Men"? I thought that was about Madison Avenue advertising firms in the 50s and 60s?
      Why would vampires care if they were "denied their flesh"? I've been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-runs while I live in my parents' basement, and it's pretty clear vampires want blood, not flesh. It's werewolves that want flesh. Please keep these things straight in the future.
      Notwithstanding your express desire to see fangs sunk into dirtbags, personally I'd rather watch Godzilla battle Mothra or Rodan, or maybe both at the same time.

    8. 2:22. So only those born with connections make it in law. Okay, whatever you say.

    9. @8:25 AM,

      I don’t know what you mean by “make it.” Do only those with connections wind up in biglaw? Absolutely not. Do only those with connections pay off their loans? Absolutely not, plenty of drones wind up in biglaw, are churned, burned and wind up worse off than a Bergen County Kindergarten teacher. (I laugh my ass off when the definition of “make it” is alleged to be going into debt to have a chance to do a job you hate, and as a result of doing said job for a few years, being able to pay off the debt associated with obtaining said job, and then having the ability to stop doing said job. So you go into debt to wind up in the same exact position as you were ten years before you started, with the provisio that you lost your youth, damaged your health, and destroyed your personal relationships. Rofl. Goebels would be proud at this level of societal brainwashing).

      The real “make it,” whereby you can afford a home, eventually retire with some dignity, help your kids out a bit and not have to work until you die, is absolutely only reserved for the connected and the sociopathic in today’s legal market.

      I’ve run through the numbers, repeatedly, and they were optimistic in their assumptions as well. The numbers don’t add up even in the most extreme cases of what constitutes success in the law.

      To wit and for your reference:

    10. “Law is not a bad way to go in that regard, assuming of course you can actually practice law for a while. If not, you likely were never lawyer material to begin with.”

      According to the BEA, between 1997 and 2017, the real GDP of the legal industry declined 1.9%. Over that same period of time, the U.S. economy grew 56.7%. Law professors blamed the collapse in the legal profession on the Great Recession. But the Finance and Insurance industry, which was particularly hit hard by the Great Recession, has bounced back. Between 1997 and 2017, the real GDP of the Finance and Insurance industry grew 68.1%, faster than the U.S. economy. Other industries have had significant growth too. The computer and electronic products industry grew 951%. The software industry grew 530%.

      Despite a growing economy, with new industries showing astronomical growth, businesses have demanded significantly less legal services. This is a peculiar result. One would think that growing industries would demand more legal services. But the ABA has failed to protect consumers and the profession. Businesses require customers to agree to mandatory arbitration clauses to open up accounts or purchase products and services. So consumers can no longer go to court to settle disputes with businesses. States have enacted caps on medical malpractice claims, and made filing a suit more difficult, putting large medical malpractice firms out of business in states like Texas.

      While the demand for legal services has declined, ABA law schools have churned out significantly more lawyers. Between 1997 and 2017, when the real GDP of the legal industry declined, the number of licensed attorneys in the U.S. increased 40%. So remember, law school professors and trolls belittle law grads who never made it in law because “they were never lawyer material to begin with.” But those people never had a chance to make it in a declining industry. The cheerleaders telling people to enroll in law school are the professors and deans financially dependent on a new batch of students. If someone opened a travel agent school, promising job security and riches, with the caveat that those who failed to obtain a job as a travel agent just couldn’t cut it, would you be dumb enough to enroll? Have you ever heard people from other professions belittle their peers in a similar manner? Have you ever heard of a failed doctor belittled by peers because they weren’t doctor material? You don’t hear about failed doctors because medicine is an actual profession. Law is now a grifter operation.

  2. It's also important to point out that while being made biglaw partner is no longer the exalted status it once was, the path to get there-in other words, from biglaw associate to biglaw partner-is littered with the 80% of associates who never get considered for partner and are told to find work elsewhere.

  3. According to legend, when I worked in Chicago in the mid eighties there was a white shoe firm in town (I think Isham, Lincoln & Beale, but I just don't remember decades later) where each partner had a reserved chair in the library, and each morning would have copies of the NYT, WSJ and the Chicago Tribune neatly folded and left on his/her chair to peruse before getting down to the day's business. Fifteen or so years later, long after I left Chicago, I was back there on business eating in one of the city's better steakhouses. There was a group of late twenties to early thirties people at a large table near us. We were having a late dinner but it wasn't that late. The group got up to leave and two men were carrying a woman by her arms with her feet dragging along, making tiny efforts at steps. I thought of the vestigial leg bones in some larger species of snakes. I was President of my fraternity, a Hoover type who kept on those who were getting too far into their cups, but I never saw anyone that inebriated who was still conscious. We were told that she had been named a partner at one of the city's big firms that day and this was the celebration. I remember that firm's name but won't say it. I tend to doubt anyone who got newspapers folded on his chair every morning ever celebrated that way. More like dinner at the country club, I'd imagine.

    The times, they were -and are - a changin' One thing the article didn't note is that nowadays if you're a partner at a major firm your family has the best of everything but you rarely see them. If you want to reach that goal understand that you will need to compete against people who actually don't care whether they ever see their families.

  4. Law students really are, in fact, bad at math. If you attend a good law school, today, in 2019, and if you graduate in the top ten percent of the class, and write for The Law Review, you will probably get some interviews for big law firms, and Federal Clerkships. Of course, not everyone in the top ten percent will get a job in biglaw, some will be 50 year old law students, some will be horrible interviewers, etc. So, right off the bat, perhaps 6-7 out of one hundred law school students will get a job at a big law firm. Then you find out that very few first year associates at big law firms make partner, so, 5 years after graduation, maybe 3 out of 100 law school grads will still be working in big law. Three-year careers are common at Cravath, for example, 3 miserable years of working 80 hours a week before you burn out or are shoved out the door. 10 years after graduation, perhaps 1 out of 100 law school grads are still working in big law firms. So, if you start at a good law school, there is approximately a 99 percent chance that you will not be making the big bucks at a big law firm a decade after you graduate. Literally, about 1/100 and you will very likely be entirely eliminated from that process by getting a B in the first semester of your first year at law school. One B, in one test, in one semester probably ends the dream for you. Oh, and if you are thinking, well, I will just work for the Public Defender's Office. . .in my state the Public Defender's Office recently hired a Georgetown Law grad who was very high in his class. And rumor has it that a Harvard Lawyer worked there briefly, probably trying to work off his loans. So good luck with that. Oh, and the JAG corps popularized in that Tom Cruise movie A Few Good Men--they routinely get more than 100 applications for one position, a position that doesn't pay very much. More than 100 resumes. So good luck!

  5. 9:51 If only it were possible for most big law associates or even big law partners to "move on to either government work or general counsel work, where they have quality of life and still interesting work and reasonable income"...... The oversupply of lawyers makes that impossible for most lawyers. To the contrary, the experience of many post-big law lawyers, even those with elite records, is that the jobs are just not there, at least compared to the number of former big law associates and partners who want to do government or general counsel work. There are many, many unemployed and underemployed former big law lawyers.

    My experience after being a big law associate and partner is that the job opportunities are not good. The post-big law earnings pale by comparison to what a teacher earns, including pensions and retiree medical. Unlike the teacher, jobs are very insecure, and most of them do not last long enough to take most lawyers to retirement. There are long periods of unemployment, long periods of underemployment, and most former big law lawyers are helpless to help themselves out of that predicament for a career length of time.

    That is my experience.

    1. What about in-house lawyer jobs?

    2. First of all, there are not that many in house jobs compared to the number of lawyers seeking them. I saw a total number of sixty some odd thousand a few years ago in all of the US. A lot of them are a long commute from where most people live. The bigger problem is that many in house jobs do not last long. It is the luck of the draw. There is no way any lawyer can count on getting or retaining an in house job with the numbers so stacked against you. Oh yes, there really is a pile of resumes of eager job hunters hungry for every in house job. If you get in with a bad in house employer, lawyers will turn over every year or more often, just because they can. A few people luck it out and are still at their in house job at 55, 62 and until they want to retire. I do not know many lawyers who have had such long tenure - they tend to be in the small minority of lawyers. That is my experience with in house.

    3. Most corporations are in the business of making money for their senior executives.

      I’m being very particular in my language here because normally you’ll hear “corporations are in the business of making money for their shareholders.” This is not the case in most instances. Corporations are in the business of making money for the senior executives, and frequently at the expense of the shareholders.

      Executives are compensated based on short time windows and short fluctuations in stock price. The most appetizing way to increase share price in the short term is not innovating, creating, etc. it’s cutting costs.

      Most companies are not doing well strictly from a revenue perspective because of this condition. (Less than ten corporations are responsible for the amazing growth in the Dow over the last decade, and the commonality is there is a strong ownership presence that disables this short term thinking, or at least makes it a secondary objective to a long term revenue driven approach, see eg Facebook, Amazon, Google, etc. The common theme is someone owns a massive amount of the company and cares where it’s going to be in ten years. Compare this to what’s going on with, for example, GE...)

      What does this have to do with law?

      General Counsels are being told to cut costs aggressively, and since management (the general counsel) knows how bad law firms are, in-house jobs are for the most part becoming almost as bad as firms. Almost as bad is still good enough because you go from pure hell of law firms to the bowels of purgatory of in-house.

      This is what people just do-not-want-to-fucking-understand about something that’s in decline, and this is why Boomers are bad. I don’t hate them because they pillaged the country. I don’t hate them because they cut taxes and increased spending for forty years. I don’t hate them because they are the generation that turned a rival power into a super power so they can find temporary enjoyment in consumption. I despise them because they will not relinquish control of the culture. They just aren’t going to admit shit changed from when they grew up because it’s an afront on their mortality.

      To this point, in-house jobs suck. They just don’t suck as bad as law firms, but that’s meaningless. In the past, in-house jobs has to be tolerable and stable places for people to work because how the fuck else are you going to tell people to take massive pay cuts to join and stay? Well, the answer now is it’s so utterly awful to work at a firm, they don’t need to do much more to keep people. They churn and burn, but slightly less hard than law firms. And in terms of senior executive pay, this is just fine because what are you going to do if you are a 45 year old former law firm attorney? What are your options? You don’t have any. You will tolerate the abuse because you don’t have a skill set that is in demand because you in a profession that is in decline, at any moment in time, if you find something that isn’t that bad in law, you have to understand it will be bad in just a few years because that’s the trend. People don’t want to understand this.

    4. Contd

      It’s like when I first started reading the early scamblogs in 2005, everyone said patent law and tax law were somehow exempt from the horrors of law. Even on JDU, they’d say “oh you have a CPA, you can do tax, yeah that won’t be that bad.” “Oh you have a CS degree, you’ll be fine, patent law isn’t that bad.”

      Both of these practice areas are absolutely atrocious now. Of course, they still aren’t as bad as the other areas of the law, but they are awful nonetheless (and getting worse and going to get much worse as Indians do more accounting and engineering work and more people have to further specialize to survive).

      Someone cited a BCG article below. I worked with that guy once, and over the phone, he told me that in 1994 he got a fourth tier law graduate With terrible grades in an demand law specialty a 40k signing bonus (not adjusted for inflation) with a large law firm. Rofl... That’s non-existent today. You know what happened? People heard shit like that and flooded that area of the law and it sucks fat balls like everything else.

      Same deal with in-house. Everyone thought that was a panacea and an escape to the horrors of law firms. General counsels know this. They can go to their CEOs and say “hey, I’ll cut the legal budget by 30 percent every four quarters by churning and burning, and we can cut ourselves some bonuses on the vig.” This is what it is happening.

      Oh yeah, let me also mention that let’s say you manage to get a job at one of those corporations where there’s a real owner that doesn’t want to skull-fuck the company for a temporary gain in stock price, eg, let’s say Amazon. How valuable is your legal staff to the long term viability of the company, eg innovation, product development, etc, particularly given the surplus of highly competent and abused legal talent out there? The answer is not much. (That distinction is why STEM is better than law, eg if you have real talent in STEM, and you work for the FAANGS, youll have some measure of stability. But that isn’t saying much...)

      So, is in-house better than a firm? Yeah it’s better than a firm, but in-house today is infinitely worse than a law firm was in 2002, and in-house in ten years from now is going to even worse. Why? There are too many fucking attorneys, and that surplus is growing. That’s it. There’s no way around it. The way around it is: you are born with money and are doing this shit to pretend you accomplished something and/or leverage your capital to have other people work for you or you are a total fucking sociopath that thrives on human misery. No exceptions.

      Read the article posted by 4:10.

  6. I'm reluctant to call anyone a liar, as we all live in our pwn personal microscosm with all the anectdotes that go along with it, but it's pretty clear that attending law school is not a good investment-and is actually a lifelong disaster-for many.
    The ABA keeps some overly generous(to law schools) employment data. It's overly generous b/c it includes all sorts of part-time, temporary jobs, as well as "JD Preferred" jobs; in my opinion, there are no "JD Preferred" jobs for new grads. If you are an experienced attorney who has spent his life doing employment law and move to a corporation as its head of HR, that's JD preferred, in that the legal experience actually qualifies you for the new job. Nothing about law school gives you any skills in any other business.
    But even if you disagree with me, per the ABA's numbers, for the class of 2018(they do a 10 month survey, so those are the latest numbers available), 7.3% were unemployed. That's exactly double the general unemployment rate. So people spent a ton of money to get in a position(with their debt) worse than the generally unemployed. Please note the ABA's numbers don't add up to 100%; I'd suggest the 1.5% who declined to respond ought to be included in the "unemployed" category.

    And as often pointed out here, it's a bi-modal salary model(The lowest 10 percent earned less than $58,220, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $208,000):

    And keep in mind that the BLS statistics don't include the proverbial desperate solos, so their average salaries aren't included above.

    And this is behind a partial paywall, but the average debt for LS students is immense-and it appears, generally, the worse the school the higher the debt(92% w/200K debt from TJ? That's oppressive):

    So it's a risk to attend, especially with the high debt loads and the poor employment outcomes of the TTTTs.

  7. Law really is a profession for masochists:

    1. And this is for the winners lol...

      And again, let’s be clear what “winning” means. Winning means that you go into debt to do this for a few years, pay off the debt, and wind up at square one when you are done (except older, etc.)

    2. I really wonder about these type of Sites. They always seem to emphasize the worst possible outcomes. It stands to reason for example, that successful partners with these large firms are not going to be nearly as bad, for the most part, as the partners portrayed. If you are a partner who does not know how to motivate people, especially your associates, how the heck are you going to make it as a partner? Nobody who is treated like crap, especially an intelligent lawyer, is going to allow themselves to be treated with such disrespect over an extended period of time, and if a lawyer does allow themselves to be treated that way, they shouldn't be lawyers, but gophers instead. Do lawyers work long hours in large firms? Sure, but they have to be motivated to do so, not treated like they are expendable dirt. Otherwise, any lawyer worth their salt will go to their partner and tell them to pound sand. Especially a big law associate, where with those credentials, it should be relatively easy to move on to a smaller firm. I just thing these people have a huge axe to grind. If practicing law was that bad in the big law firms, then most people simply would not take those jobs, and those law firms would soon fail.

    3. 10:20a; you can wonder away about "these type of Sites" but the article above is from the Wall Street Journal. So while you may not like what has been posted by others, the partner stories are directly from biglaw, as told to the WSJ.
      And why do they do it? Call it golden handcuffs, call it anything you like, but from associate to partner, it's the money that keeps them locked into these firms.

    4. 9:19 PM, if we assume you are a lawyer, I would object that this article assumes facts not in evidence. For example:"Have you noticed that most lawyers are not happy": Actually I haven't noticed that at all. Lawyers are like all other human beings, some being happier than others. And what double blind study was initiated to find whether lawyers were or were not happier than any other profession or employment? You have to remember, this blog attracts malcontents, so the opinions expressed herein are biased to those who are malcontents and those where the children here are exemplars of a famous song "every generation blames the one before".

      You see, contrary to what you who call me a troll contend, I am not a Law school professor, I do not benefit by the financial success of law schools, I could give a damn whether the majority of law schools go out of business or not. I am just a lawyer who has learned that so many lawyers are so full of sh^t, many of the malcontents here also, that I can't help but comment.

      the bottom line is practicing law can suck, and the way it is today, contending with the large advertising firms (which are destroying the practice of law in my opinion), it sucks even more. But practicing law can also be challenging and fulfilling, not all of the time of course, but some of the time, and even financially rewarding. What else can someone expect out of the law?

      I vehemently disagree with the analysis that going to a tier 3 or 4 is a huge mistake. You know what they call somebody who graduates from these schools and then passes the bar? A lawyer. Any lawyer with any intelligence can learn and become proficient in an area of the law so that they have a marketable skill. Besides, how much intelligence does it be to be a family law expert on divorces?

      Its like I tell my clients when considering a settlement of the personal injury cases. Nothing is guaranteed. They have to take the risk of accepting the settlement or going to trial. If they believe if they settle they will always be angry with themselves that they didn't give a trial a chance, they should not settle. If they believe they will be forever regretful if they turned down a settlement and then lost at trial, they should settle.

      What I am saying is it depends on the person. Some want to go for it. Others don't. This blog invariably tells people not to go to lawschool UNLESS. Well you know what, it is perfectly okay to tell people to consider the risks vs. the benefits and choose accordingly, but you guys are like the guys who tell their clients to settle a case that may potentially be much more valuable than the amount offered in settlement, and that is simply the wrong advice.

      I'm sure most applicants are aware of these blogs and are still choosing to go to law school anyway. What you all don't get is they are making the best choice for themselves. You all can't make that call for them.

      For my own children, I have tried to tell them to avoid the law, primarily because I think so many lawyers are aholes, but I also tell them the rewards are there and they have to make the choice. I don't tell them to avoid the law at all costs because they "may" not make it. I don't tell them to be tradesmen because of more financial security. I suggest that is something they should consider but they have to do what they feel best for themselves so when they ultimately look back on their lives, they do not feel like they didn't take their best shots in doing what they wanted to do. Life does not move forward without taking risks. It is as simple as that. How much risk is up to the individual.

    5. @10:20,

      Sir or Madame, I salute you. It’s the subtleties of trolling that distinguish between a mere novice and a master.

      As a prelude, I’ll note that the referenced site is from BCG, the guy is a recruiter for major law firms (and a good one at that). As a secondary matter, I’ll note he writes these articles because of the train wrecks he’s seen in this line of work, he has friends that have committed suicide doing it

      As to substance, let’s look at this Rembrandt masterpiece of trolling right here:

      “Nobody who is treated like crap, especially an intelligent lawyer, is going to allow themselves to be treated with such disrespect over an extended period of time, and if a lawyer does allow themselves to be treated that way, they shouldn’t be lawyers, but gophers instead.”

      Hmm. I have to analyze the troll quality here before I reply for the benefit of any 0Ls from the ghetto or rural America that may happen to stumble on this gem. Notice the dismissal of the reality of the situation combined with the reasoning that it is absurd based on the boomer perspective on the profession (which as true forty years ago). That’s high quality stuff.

      In terms of reality, they will tolerate it because their aren’t any options and the options are getting worse every single year. That’s the beauty of the situation is that let’s say you find some new practice area that is even a shadow of the former glory of law and associates aren’t completely expendable. In no less than five years will it be saturated and proceed to the path of horror. HR personnel in law firms (and increasingly in-house) are actually trained to know this. They actually have formulas on expendability.

      They aren’t gophers for tolerating it. They are gophers having gone to law school and lost their leverage. If they don’t like it, they don’t have options.

      Another gem:

      “Otherwise, any lawyer worth their salt will go to their partner and tell them to pound sand. Especially a biglaw associate, where with those credentials, it should be relatively easy to move on to a smaller firm.”

      Ahahahahahaha rofl lol. Read some bcg articles to get a better comprehension of the kind of leverage lawyers have, biglaw or otherwise. Unless your parents are rich, if you do that to a biglaw partner, you won’t be working in law for a very long time. (I know someone who did something like that and they are ok, but he’s ok because his father is a real estate mogul and he has ten lawyers working for him now courtesy of financing from the old man of course.)

    6. 10:26-You've been watching too many lawyer TV shows in your parents' basement; "facts not in evidence" indeed. And who said anything about lawyers being "happy"? But since you are straining a metaphor, let's go with it: you totally ignore that the evidence is direct testimony from biglaw participants. If presented in court, it would be admissible in all jurisdictions. And all roundly condemn their current situation. And the BGC article, while pretty over the top, would also be evidence. So no idea what you are talking about-but then again, you have no idea what you are talking about.
      But here are some quick actual, you know, facts that you consistently ignore:
      1. Per the ABA's inflated 2018 law school graduate employment numbers, which include the ridiculous "JD advantage" jobs, as well as part time temporary employment, 7.3% of the graduating class was unemployed 10 months after graduation(!). This is almost exactly DOUBLE the nation's general unemployment rate. So take on huge debt, be unemployed.
      2. Per BLS, the cartel is cranking out 2x the number of JDs annually as there are JD required jobs.
      3. And let's not ignore your pearls of wisdom, sprinkled with "lawyers are aholes", lawyers are full of "sh*t" are "malcontents" etc etc. Why would you recommend anyone go into such a profession?
      And if you're such a success, why are you here? It's clear that you've got almost limitless time on your hands, and show up simply to defend the cartel and those poor, poor folks at the TTTs and the ABA.
      And here's reality: if you want to attend a TTT, take a look at the ABA required disclosures. And ask yourself a question: why do the ABA disclosures exist? Medical, pharmacy, nursing, dental schools don't have "required disclosures" why do law schools?
      Here's the ugly answer: because the law schools did so much lying about job statistics(100% employment!) and salaries(everybody gets 160k/yr !) that the ABA imposed this on the law schools. Great, huh?
      So please, go to student doctor network or some of the other healthcare blogs and share your disinformation there. I just don't get why you, and others, show up here to defend the scam, and give people advice which could potentially financially destroy their lives.

    7. """"I just don't get why you, and others, show up here to defend the scam, and give people advice which could potentially financially destroy their lives.""""

      You just don't get it. You are singling out Law but everything sucks in the country right now. And I don't think the advice on this board has a significant impact on the choices of people one way or the other. Ultimately they will do what they believe in their own best interests given their alternatives. Regardless, the Oligarchs are taking over and want the rest of us to be their working slaves. This is not because of the boomers but in spite of the Boomers. Personally I blame the conservative, republican scum in the Congress and the State legislatures who have made a total mess of the country. That and the unending war machine and money thrown out for nothing whatsoever to keep it going. Capitalists are going to bleed as many people as they can, that is human nature. Its up to the lawmakers to limit the abuse, but instead the lawmakers have become a big part of the problem. The Boomers are just as much victims as this as you younger generations.

      The country is headed to a financial abyss, debt and deficits as far as the eye can see. As I see it, those who can best defend themselves will be those who most understand the system, which includes economists, financial people, lawyers, etc. Tradesmen and most other middle class relatively uneducated employees are going to be the victims even more than they already are. At least armed with knowledge how the system works, your chances of navigating the system to try to make a decent life for yourself are stronger. As for the debt you incur in law school, nobody has to go to a fourth tier expensive piece of crap school. If you can't get into your public institutions, then maybe I would agree, law school is not the place for these people to be.

    8. Look, start your own apocalyptic blog; as all agree new JDs don't even know how to practice law, let alone battle the forces of economic darkness. Your entire premise holds no reality at all.

    9. Naive.

      SuperClinton eradicated BK protections on Federal student loans and shortly thereafter the cost of college began to skyrocket.

      I blame Republicans and Dems. Specifically Baby-boomers. Yes, it does suck everywhere but the law sucks more than most because of the huge expense and the albatross of a JD on a resume.


    10. Are 10:26 and 4:20 the same person? 10:26 'vehemently' defended 4th tier schools and 4:20 turned around and said they are not worth going to.

      But as to the substance of 4:20s post, how does 'understanding how the system works' presuming that any higher education accomplishes that, which is dubious in itself, translate into financial success? I suppose a financial expert might have some insights into investing. But what does the ability to defend oneself mean? Against what? Is this future oligarchy going to have a huge need for attorneys and economists? And why are tradespeople so much more disadvantaged by economic downturns than the so called professions. Why would the need for electricians, plumbers, carpenters, etc. evaporate.

      The entire first half of the second paragraph makes no sense to me. It has already been established here that degrees, in many fields, do not equate to employability.

    11. @4:20,

      Rofl, yeah those “Republican” scumbag law professors using the capitalist system to exploit the masses. Because when I think capitalism, I think governmentally insured and guaranteed student loans without any price restriction of any kind.

      God damn “Republican” Bill Clinton that 1) abolished Glass Steagol so the banks can go ape shit, 2 gutted the antitrust laws so you can have ungodly concentration of power unseen since the gilded age, 3) granted China most favored nation status under the WTO so you can gut 80 percent of the blue collar work and half of the white collar work, while also ensuring that the capital inflows from China increase the price of assets and cost of living in the areas of the country affected the least by globalization (coasts), 4) got us into NAFTA to gut the remaining blue collar manufacturing base not sent to China, etc.

      If only we had responsible, self-sacrificing and intelligent liberal and Democrat politicians, like the professors, administrators and support staff at universities and law schools, who lectured me consistently and incessantly on the benefits of self-sacrifice as they marauded 80 percent of the class with obscene tuition burdens to live top one percent life styles for minimal work and the total job security, we would be in a better world.

      If you had communism and socialism, the people in charge would be the law school professors and college professors that told you to sacrifice as they fucked you hard. That’s communism and socialism. The only difference is that those cocksukcers would have control of the police and would have even less restrains than now.

      As to pur present situation, it’s fascism, not communism, capitalism, or socialism. When the government picks winners and losers, taxes people who work harder than people who collect economic rent, and has shit like federally guaranteed student loans, you have fascism.

      In capitalism, you have no guaranteed loans and half the schools go out of business. Harvard, Yale and Stanford can charge current tuition levels for the pedigree, and all the remaining schools would be 1/10 of the cost and would have to reach you real skills.

      Under socialism, the education would be useless everywhere, but there would be some kind of price control and only the really smart people could go to school,

      Under communism, everyone does what the hackademics tell them under pain of death.

    12. "And why are tradespeople so much more disadvantaged by economic downturns?"

      I suppose we have a different view of the world. Education is the key to ensure you understand the complexity of society, your rights and how to protect and assert them. The more you can understand, the more you can navigate and make a living in the system, even if that means selling complex insurance policies instead of practicing law. It also allows you to deal with the complexities of an economy that will be far over the head of the uneducated, and make you less susceptible to being the victim of never ending scams in our country, albeit I get the irony because under your premise, educated college graduates were the victims of the law school scam.

      Except 11:35. it is a given the economy almost always does better under the dems than under the Repubs. Look it up. Until Reagan came in and gutted the system, drastically lowering taxes and starting us on the road to ruin by unending deficits, the economy was a powerhouse. Student loans had a beneficial purpose, to help the poor get a college or graduate school education. Without student loans, tuition still likely would have gone up fueled by the riches of the stock market, only the poor would not have been benefiting and would have been excluded from the education marketplace.

      I get you have contempt for law school professors, but you know, they are doing absolutely nothing you would not be doing under the same situation. If you were offered a job making 250K per year for working 10 hours per week, you going to turn it down? Would you I can't accept because that would not be fair to law students? Did Paul Campos ever walk away from his professorship? Of course not, he voiced his opinions, sold his books, all the while being protected by Tenure, and thus still collecting his salary.

      Your complaint is with capitalism and human nature, not with law school professors. Some of you actually have the audacity to think older workers have some sort of duty to retire so that you all can take their places. That is just stupid thinking.

      You all feel you got shafted.....well maybe you have....but in the end, you made a choice and things didn't work out for you. Oh well, you keep on keeping on until things do work out. When you all are feeling really sorry for yourselves, try to imagine what it would have been like to have been a jew in nazi Germany.....One day having so much, the next, your money and house stolen and you are being shipped to a death camp.

      You all have it relatively good. None of you were drafted into fighting a worthless war. You have the best of technology and educational opportunities available to you. You all more or less are far smarter than the average dumb-ass American. So you won't make it as lawyers, you will have to make it as something else. At least you were given the opportunity to try. Cry me a River.

    13. Ahhh Yes. The Boomer speaking in Boomerisms.

      Be grateful that none of those horrible things in happenedthe past happened to you so that you can forget how bad things are now.

      The words from the Boomer's mouth above are so redundant they have become a cliche. It is as if all Boomers share the same brain.

      I really wish your generation would do us all a favor by hurrying up and dying off.

      Bunch of clueless assholes.

    14. What do you mean by “better” and what time frame are we taking about? Bill Clinton single handily destroyed the economy of this country by annihilating the most important regulatory controls this country had in place since the ending of the Great Depression, including but not limited to Glass Steagol.

      “Without student loans, tuition still likely would have gone up fueled by the riches of the stock market, only the poor would not have been benefiting and would have been excluded from the education marketplace.”

      Bullshit, con man talk. Maybe the elite schools would increase at current levels because the elite schools are selling prestige and access to the rich, not education. (And it’s the rich kids that are still Going to these places, they just get to pretend everyone can go now because the barriers are less transparent). The lower tier schools would not exist. No lender would lend you money to go because you wouldn’t be able to pay it back. The remaining schools would have to charge very reasonable tuition that could be paid with work part time because, again, there won’t be access to capital to allow these types of price increases. Now, a trust fund baby that doesn’t want to work and just wants to mentally masturbate is not going to be able to pretend that his 4.0 is better than the 3.0 of the kid who had to work to get through the school. But the poor kids that got through under such a regime would be infinitely better for it. They would make more money and under less stress. Now, the tax payer gets screwed, working attorneys get screwed, and the poor kids become screwed by being permanent debt slaves.

      Regarding law school professors, absolutely, I would take a job for 200k that involves no work. I would not, as they do, lie to the poor to try and get them to go into debt for my useless product (Campos doesn’t lie for example and he tells kids the truth), take over the government institutions responsible for regulating me and pervert them (the lower tier Deans control the ABA and are doing everything in their power to fuck people), and oppose any attempt to enact any kind of control over the price of my product, while also making sure the federal government pays me for my shit service irrespective of outcomes. That’s the difference. These guys aren’t capitalists, they are gangsters and crooks.

    15. Contd:

      And on the related point of capitalism and human nature, this isn’t capitalism. You can have that cold boomer heart and you can be mad you are old and want to take it out on young people because despite how good the previous generations made things for you, when you look in the mirror and you see old, all you want to do is punish young, you don’t get to change definitions. The federal government and related regulatory apparatuses controlled by parasites guarantee the federal loans without any price restriction or outcome based requirement. This allows the law school curriculum (and university curriculum as a whole) to remain simultaneously impractical and immune to change, while also increasing in price and losing real value as a result of over-saturation. To be fair, that certainly isn’t socialism or communism either (although class envy is used to deceive the public to make these predatory practices a reality). That’s fascism, we have fascism. We have fascism implemented and sustained by socialist rhetoric, eg you use class envy to enact policies that are terrible for the working class.

      As to human nature, I don’t have a problem with it. Human nature is greedy and selfish, but some greed and selfishness rises to sociopathy and laws have to be written with this in mind. See the difference between, for example and in my opinion, Paul Campos and Mike Simovic (both are selfish, but the former is an honest man, and the latter is a lying criminal).The greatest sociopaths use human kindness and human envy to hurt everyone, and this is a prime example. Poor people are much better off in a union doing blue colllar work or even at Starbucks debt free making 15-20 an hour and investing in the market, then being in debt for a useless degree.

      No one here thinks older workers should retire to make a place for us. We just think you are a bunch of sociopaths that flat lined this country, and people from your preceding generation, eg the Greatest Generation, anticipated how much damage you would inflict. You preach social responsibility, class envy, people should be good, etc and you act like the greediest, most selfish, most sociopathic sons of bitches the world has ever known. If you came out and said every man for himself, I’d applaud you. Let’s have that, let’s pull these fucking guaranteed federally student loans and see where the chips fall. You lie, you pretend to have empathy, you pretend to advocate social responsibility, but when you get power you do the worst things. That’s why you are dirtbags.

      Incidentally, on that note, LBJ (a Democrat) imposed the only suffering your generation suffered (the useless Vietnam War) on you while advocating rhetoric of empathy etc and Richard Nixon (a Republican) ended it. And on that related note, my generation had to fight (and continues to) the longest and most expensive war in American history (the war on terror). But you Boom baby! Like, peace and love man!

      You are the first generation in American history to hand the country over to the next generation poorer than you received it and your policies directly enabled the rise of a rival that wants to destroy us.

    16. Contd:

      Regarding education, you can get the books and read them on your own, most professors don’t teach (Scalia and Ginsburg agreed on this point with regards to elite education). Work any job and go get some books from the library, you don’t need to become a debt slave for useless degrees.

      Regarding how we made a choice and how bad nazi Germany was, that’s not a defense to criminals committing criminal acts. Madoff couldn’t say to his victims “hey, you made a choice, get over it and least I didn’t kill you.” And warning other people to avoid our fate isn’t bad either. What happens to us isn’t important, as much as stopping these criminals from continuing to profit from federally guaranteed money. That’s the key point, it doesn’t matter if every poster on this blog does on the street. Tuition has just hit 100k a year at the top 14 schools, expect this to trickle down to the toilets. I shouldn’t be taxed to fund this, rationalizations, appeals envy, straw-men, etc. These bums shouldn’t be getting my money any more. I’ll fight them in the market of truth as much as I can and for as long as I can, even if it has no effect.

    17. So much stupidity, ignoring the reality of huge debt combined with no job is a lifelong financial disaster. The telling quote:
      "Education is the key to ensure you understand complexity of society..."
      What does this sound like, almost exactly? It sounds like the good judge's opinion, dismissing the lemmings' lawsuit, declaring them to be "educated consumers" so if they got conned by the scam, it was their own fault. Paper education doesn't confer any wisdom on its recipients.
      "At least you were given the opportunity to try." Try what? Fall victim to baldfaced lies about salaries and job prospects? Try to lead a life with no job and 250K in debt?
      Everything you write is utter, total, patent nonsense.

    18. This is 10:12. I still don't get your premise that education will allow one to 'navigate the system' whatever that exactly means. My law degree hasn't helped me one iota. The fact that it is a 4th tier degree has a lot to do with that. I understand that. But this navigating the system seems to be independent of getting into the club and I don't see where my law degree or bar membership gives me any special one upsmanship over anyone else for preventing bad things from happening to me. If I think that I have been a victim of age discrimination or reverse discrimination, will having a JD make my cause of action more viable? Will people be more afraid of me? I don't think so. Who will I be protecting my rights against in the new oligarchy? The government? My neighbors who have loud parties every night? My home owners association that won't fix the leaky roof? My job that is making me work unpaid overtime and forfeit vacation? Will having a degree help much against the government if it turns its eye towards you or me? And what scams are out there the the JD will be a talisman against? The stock market? Will it make one a better stock picker? Today wasn't such a good day for that and my JD didn't do much to halt the sell off.

      I think the successful electrician or plumber is better off because he or she is more trained to be a survivalist under your scenario, and if successful can hire a lawyer to protect their rights and interests when necessary.

    19. “When you all are feeling really sorry for yourselves, try to imagine what it would have been like to have been a jew in nazi Germany.....One day having so much, the next, your money and house stolen and you are being shipped to a death camp.“

      I think this is an unfair analogy. It is certainly the case that the Jewish people under Nazi Germans suffered more than any law student conned by law professors and the lending industry. However, the Jewish people were unable to defend themselves and they were rescued by other people who sacrificed and brought the Nazis and other perpetrators of criminality to justice. Even to this day, as the Jewish people are incapable of fully defending themselves, the rest of the world supplies aid to help them, including billions of aid from this country. We do this to protect a more vulnerable group incapable of defending itself from more aggressive and predatory people.

      In contrast, no one is bringing the criminal law school professors to justice, even though their crimes are less severe. Moreover, no one is protecting potential law students from this wanton criminality. Yes, it’s true, that what the Nazis did was infinitely worse, but they were punished for it. Are we just going to allow these law school professors scumbags to steal indefinitely because their criminality does not rise to the level of genocide?

  8. The following post, including the characterization of individuals herein, is a matter of personal opinion and not a statement of fact:

    A lot of allegedly non-troll posters here like to harpe that this blog needs to focus on “the law school scam,” and that focusing on alternatives to law is actually a subversive tactic to undermine the movement.

    I was curious how given the information out there idiots are enrolling into law school, and I was reading some posts from the scammers on quora. In so doing, I came up on some olds posts of legendary scammer Mike Simovic (apologies for any misspelling) who was touting his infamous study on how even a toilet law degree, I’m sorry, I mean a degree from a lower ranked institution is worth it even now.

    He was confronted by a partner with Stanford law degree chops who repeatedly informed the little parasite that his firm was solicited to hire people for free (and from better ranked law schools than his own). Behold one of his responses:

    “It is very difficult to look at these numbers, as well as what is actually happening in the marketplace, and swallow the claim that the market isn't over-saturated.

    I have no doubt that many young law graduates are struggling.  But you still have to answer the question, what else should they do with themselves if not going to law school?

    Where are they going to have better employment and earnings prospects?

    I think the answer is probably Medical school, if they can get in.  But most law students don't have the science background that is a pre-requisite for medical school, so that probably was not a real option.”

    So you see folks, the primary weapon left for these dirty, dirty, dirty sociopaths to get that sweet federal money is to use the old “what are your options other than law school” argument.

    If we don’t address this point, expect law school applications to keep increasing, and that’s not just unfortunate because the profession is going to produce the same types of casualties, but because everyone is basically going to be a casualty unless they have a very specific personal reason for attending law school and do not care at all about any kind of material or temporal comfort (eg a victim of a violent crime wants to be a prosecutor), are rich and doing it for the prestige, or are total sociopaths. In the early 2000s, if you got biglaw, kept it for a few years, you might have a good outcome with a nice in-house exit plan. That’s not the case anymore, and again, expect things to continue to get worse.

    1. No, that's not the way to proceed. Simply put, the scam schools will tell virtually any lie to get classes filled. And because of this, it's better to keep the advice direct: whatever you do, feckless potential 0L don't go to law school, because doing so will most likely financially ruin your life.

  9. Becoming partner is all about generating business. That's it. If you pull in business, that's your ticket. Being an excellent lawyer is a necessary but not sufficient condition to becoming partner.
    And if you're the type of person who can generate business, I'd wager that you could just go out and sell cars, or real estate, or anything, and make more doing that.

    Still, at least in my area of law, this model isn't 100% true. We work with a modest-sized boutique patent firm with a lot of partners and we don't treat them like garbage (i.e., expecting work unreasonably soon). We expect top-tier work product and they do deliver for us, but there is mutual respect. And I've never heard them abuse an associate over the phone.

    1. This is it, and it's the reason why older attorneys without a book of businesses have no chance. It's all about what you bring to the firm-or more correctly, how much business you bring to the firm.

  10. It is often (rightly) said that making partner is like winning a pie-eating contest where the prize is more pie. The smartest people recognize, from day 1, that biglaw is primarily about the exit opportunities.

    Get trained, get your debts paid off, and get out around that 5 year mark when recruiters/in-house/bigfed/midlaw/boutiques are most interested. This is not a career. More like a highly paid residency or, given the hours, perhaps a hazing ritual. There's a reason they hire in "classes" and refer to former associates as "alumni."

    If you ever want to have a life outside of work, then gunning for partner is a fool's errand. Leave too early and you'll end up in doc review. Stay too long and you'll be expected to make rain. And if by some miracle you are lucky enough to grab that brass ring, it isn't a ring at all. More like a pair of "golden handcuffs" as lifestyle, spousal expectations etc. quickly grow to the point where you couldn't fathom surviving on the pay from the kind of job that actually allows you to see your kids.

  11. I think there are two things to blame for why idiots keep going to law school when there are literally no jobs at all in the legal field for most law school graduates. 1) Dummies watch too much TV, and because on Law & Order, or in movies like Legally Blond, or in John Grisham novels, the lawyers are all wealthy, successful, happy beautiful people idiots literally think "I can be a lawyer like the guy on my Tee-Vee screen" and they go to law school. 2) Massive, essentially unlimited "student loans". These "loans" will never be paid off for the most part, but so what. I know a guy who quite literally took a 3-year all-expenses paid vacation to Florida (he called it law school) and didn't even bother to sit for the Bar Exam the summer after he graduated. He ended up moving back to his original state, living with his parents, and stocking shelves at Wal Mart. This happens all the time.

    1. This is exhibit number XXMQCVII why there needs to be a gainful employment rule for law schools. There also may need to be a bar passage rate test that includes all "graduates," not just those who sit for the exam.

    2. I don't think any significant number of people are so naïve that they enroll because of lawyer portrayals on TV, but I DO think they enroll because they simply don't know what else to do with a liberal arts degree and because it will pay their rent for three years and give their parents something to brag about. Law school doesn't have any prerequisite undergrad coursework and it is the only professional school that doesn't, so a lot of people feel like there's nothing else that they can clearly "do" with a liberal arts degree.

      I think there should be a residency-type system. Lawyers are also the ONLY profession where you can get an unrestricted, independent license with no field experience whatsoever. Don't get me wrong, the theoretical nature of the law school curriculum and the pressure to produce more "practice ready" graduates is a red-herring when the problem is that there aren't enough jobs. BUT, if a certain amount of practice experience (like "articling" in other countries) were required to practice, then schools that can't place grads in such training opportunities would have to close, just as medical school whose grads can't "match" into residencies is not a viable operation, at least not outside the Caribbean lol.

      Some schools would probably try to game such a system by simply making their clinics into a sort of "teaching law firm," but that issue can be fixed by ensuring that the experience requirement has to be post-graduate. Because people in the residency/articling position are not "enrolled in a degree-granting program" (because they already have the degree) they wouldn't be able to take out more loans for that time.

      We could also eliminate the third year and perhaps even the second as well, since it's mostly just the 1L curriculum that's tested on the bar anyway and almost all of what you take after 1L is just electives.

      Law school should be a one-year masters followed by a *post-graduate* articling process of like 2 years or so.

    3. Hey, these are all good ideas; practical, and of the type to enhance the actual quality of lawyers and the practice of law.
      But if implemented, they would shake the foundations of the cartel. So they've got no chance of being adopted.

  12. It's a cold but clear reality that rules-it's simple supply and demand. There are just too many attorneys, period, and every year 2X as many JDs are cranked out by the cartel as there are jobs. That's why just about all lawyers are treated terribly-because they can be easily replaced.
    There's a very good argument that the scam blogs are needed now more than ever, so that prospective law students stay far, far away from the TTTs. With applications up, however, it doesn't appear many are listening.

    1. Ding ding ding.... That’s it.

    2. I don't think most lawyers who actually have jobs are easily replaced. Unless the employer has a "class" type infrastructure like biglaw, or is investing nothing in its employees, like a doc review outfit, most places don't want huge turnover, if only because hiring and training is a pain in the butt.

      I think the issue is that the hordes of TTT lawyers don't even register on the supply side because their resumes go straight to the trash. What actually occurs is that there's all the JDs we produce, and then there's the much smaller subset of them who would actually be considered for decent jobs. At the entry level, this smaller subset comes from top schools, or have top grades from somewhere that's well regarded in its immediate region, or they have some kind of connection or niche prelaw background. Outside the entry level, most employers are brand snobs. They want to hire people who've worked somewhere they've heard good things about, which pretty much means big law firms, fortune 500 companies, or high-profile governmental agencies. People without that kind of background aren't even in the running, so they aren't really part of the supply and don't put downward pressure on pay or working conditions.

      Employers don't even really see a massive lawyer glut, because they're competing with each other over that much smaller subset of "employable lawyers." The existence of the rest barely registers.

      Point being, if you're one of those lawyers who is lucky enough to be in the better caste, I think law still is a solid career and you won't necessarily be seen as fungible or treated like crap just because they'd get a bunch of resumes from people they would never consider if you quit. You won't really be effected by the oversupply because you're not really competing with the Cooley grads at all.

    3. “Point being, if you're one of those lawyers who is lucky enough to be in the better caste, I think law still is a solid career and you won't necessarily be seen as fungible or treated like crap just because they'd get a bunch of resumes from people they would never consider if you quit. You won't really be effected by the oversupply because you're not really competing with the Cooley grads at all.”

      Really atrocious advice. 99 percent of lawyers are completely expendable. This is why biglaw has gone from a 1200 a year billable hour requirement to a 2500 a year billable hour requirement.

      In the old days, it you were in biglaw and were abused, you could leave and start your own firm doing retail stuff, eg PI, closings, etc. That market is totally finished now because of the Cooley law types, where said Cooley types make less than Cosco managers doing that type of shit. That cascade effect is present everywhere and doesn’t just extend to retail sectors. That’s just one example.

  13. Advancing tech is reducing the number of lawyers needed in society.

    Junior lawyers ‘endangered species’ due to automation, law prof claims:

  14. What has be largely ignored by all of us is how incredibly entitled this bunch is; the subtitle of the article ought to be "We are special, you know we are special, and we deserve to be treated "special" because we are."
    Why is this important? Well, it's biglaw partners and scam deans who run the ABA, the self-appointed representative of all lawyers everywhere. Do you think these partners, making 1.5 million/yr, can relate to a small law practitioner or a govt lawyer making a fraction of that? They don't even want to pretend you exist. Ok, they know you exist, but it's not "real" law that you're practicing; what you're doing-whatever it is-just isn't important.
    Why should you care? This is how the scam gets perpetuated. The scam schools know full well that the ABA doesn't want to sully its hands with the TTTs, so it looks the other way until the press heat gets bad. And since the press is notoriously fickle, the ABA then takes temporary or proposed measures which are never implemented or which are easily manipulated. A good example is employment statistics, where a long term full time job needs to last one year, and no longer. Also look at the feeble efforts at enforcing bar passage rates.
    This article highlights the problems of the 1% in the legal profession. And it's clear they are so entitled, they could care less about anything outside their rarefied field of vision-which does not include you, or anyone else outside the 1%.

    1. Your post highlights the problem with the legal profession: everyone is an envious turn-spite, and the only thing every other lawyer wants is for other lawyers to be more miserable than him or her. If you compare this to medicine, you’ll see a difference.

      The point of the article is to show that legal practice is awful, even for those at the top.

      Time is money. A biglaw partner earning a million dollars a year and getting taxed at 60 percent in NYC without the ability to take a single day off is poorer than a trust fund baby who does not work, collect: 200k in dividends off of a 10 million dollar corpus of stock, and gets taxed at 18 percent.

      These propaganda pieces that represent these higher paid wage slaves as the rich is deliberate, and it’s intended to illicit envy from less capable and well compensated wage slaves such as yourself.

      See another example of this here

      Rich people, really rich people, do not work, they don’t have billable hours. They own assets and those assets produce income.

      Hating your betters isn’t going to make your life any better, it’s just going to be used to make the lives of the truly undeserving even better. This profession is a testament to that. Every single year it gets worse for every single person doing it. Your life practing shitlaw in some small office isn’t going to get better by these biglaw minions getting hurt more. Your life will get better when the federal government stops guaranteeing student loans. Your taxes will be reduced, future economic calamities will be avoided (student loans will exceed mortgage debt), there may be a decent balance restored to the supply and demand curve for your services, which in turn will make you earn more money under better conditions. Envy is why you are in this situation. Poor people were envious of people earning a good living doing this stuff. The really rich and corrupt gave them access. The result is they are poorer and more enslaved, worse off in every way, and the other people doing this are also worse off.

      As for whose interests are being served by this, it isn’t the biglaw people (except the sociopaths who feed off of human misery). The real value is being extracted by 1) politicians that are using education and envy as means of getting votes (even though it’s doing vastly more harm than good), 2) law school professors and administrators who don’t have to work by virtue of having guaranteed loans coming in, and 3) rich people- actually rich people- that get leverage over yet another group of people that can’t bargain better for their services because of a supply and demand imbalance.

    2. "Hating your betters..." Huh? Who made them anyone's "betters"? You must be part of the Coalition to Save the 1%ers. You clearly did not read the article, with the descriptions of the truly rich partners(the 1.5 million and up) looking down on the 800k/yr partners, the merely rich. And the whining that comes from all of them.
      You post makes no sense, at all. Is it now time to feel bad for millionaires who actually pay taxes and complain that things aren't like they were in the good old days?
      This forum has become a Wild West, but you get the prize for defending those poor victimized multimillionaires. Unbelievable.

    3. @3:14,

      Real rich people don’t work. They own. You don’t know any. The biglaw partner cleaning 700 after taxes to live in nyc is not rich. His kids may-MAY- be rich.

      He’s likely your better because he has an inhuman work ethic combined with an extreme understanding of the subtleties of the law. He may also have had some luck.

      You can hate and be envious, but envy and hate is what got most people into this predicament. The rich let the proles into this line of work. Now the poor are poorer, but “educated.” The billable hour requirement went from 1200 a year to over 2100 a year, and partners are probably at 2500 a year. The children of the rich are off doing something leisurely. When proles find out about that, they’ll get access, and it will suck. Rinse and repeat.

      I’m not feeling bad for anyone. I’m pointing out that those partners aren’t rich. Their children MAY be rich when those guys are done and kill themselves working like that, and leave non-taxable investment vehicles to their kids with vast tax-reduced or tax free dividend pay outs. Then, losers can complain how life’s not fair that their parents didn’t sacrifice for them, etc, and advocate for raising tax rates even more on people who trade time for money, which in turn is going to make wealth inequality even worse as the tax-exempt slothful owners take home even more money.

    4. 10:20-you can sing The International until your lungs give out, but your incongruous defense of the 1%ers makes no sense. By any standard, these partners are rich, and they are a bunch of whiners.
      And are you channeling Dr Phil? Who said anything about "hate and envy"-other than you? The simple reality is that they are very well off, and feel entitled to complain that nobody recognizes how special they are anymore. And do you think any of these millionaires cares, at all, about a TJ grad with 250K debt and no job? The TTTs and their graduates don't exist to these people-they live in their own privileged bubble, and earnestly complain that even though they've "made it" according to the standards of legal practice and compensation, they just aren't happy. That's a pretty cossetted view of life.

    5. @6:56,

      They aren’t rich. Let me give you an example of what rich is. One of my clients is an “artist.” She lives in a paid off 3.2 million dollar apartment in Chelsea. She doesn’t work- at all. Her husband doesn’t work- at all. Her sons are going to private schools with a combined tuition of 150k a year. She receives a 12k month allowance from the trust every month, in addition to all of the expenses that I outlined and in addition to maintenance payment for her apartment and health insurance.

      She is not paying half of her distribution to the tax man. The property in the trust, including the apartment, appreciate at 12-20 percent on average per year. In other words, the value of her property is increasing at a rate far more than what the highly paid wage cuck biglaw partner is making. She does no work for this. She never has worked, and she never will work.

      That’s rich brother. That’s living life. (She travels extensively I should mention).

      The biglaw partner is a walking corpse. Dying and billing.

      But you know, “ and you do you think any of these millionaires care, at all, about a TJ grad
      250k in debt with no job,” envy prevails. That TJ grad shouldn’t have had access to federally guaranteed loans so he could hang himself with. But said grad probably came from a family that would have whined about racism or classism if those loans weren’t available to them. Because if said loans were not available, my clients’ children would probably become lawyers, work at a white shoe firm, and bill 1200 hours a year like the 80s. The proles would see this and said individuals were living large and in charge because they are lawyers: hint: they didn’t back then and wouldn’t right now. They are rich because the own assets, not because they have a high wage.

      Your ilk has succeeded though. It’s miserable for 99 percent of practitioners now, everyone is equally poor. The biglaw partner as well. His kids won’t be though. His kids will be like my client: actually rich.

      You hate though. You get it out. Let your hate destroy more.

    6. Wow, 5:01pm, it's clear that you are both judgmental-everyone who disagrees with you is riddled with "hate" and "envy" and you also lead a vivid fantasy life-as in, having wealthy clients.
      And sorry, but anyone making 3million-even in NYC-is doing just fine, thanks.
      And go back and read your posts-they make not one scintilla of sense. But your the guy who knows cops making 200K year, teachers making 150K year, etc etc. Here's some good advice: don't believe everything people tell you, and maybe, just maybe, get out of NYC occasionally. Believe it or not, about 95% of America's population lives outside that city.
      But wow, you have spew a lot of venom.

    7. 5:01-of all the posts here, yours are the only ones riddled with "hate" and "envy". It was puzzling at first, this over the top response, but then you wrote: "The biglaw partner is a walking corpse. Dying and billing." Well, even Ben Franklin would have agreed with part of that, but the rest gives it away. The biglaw partner isn't a slave, or an indentured servant; he can walk away from the job at any time and the only things keeping him on the job, arguably, are the golden handcuffs-as in, he's gotten used to being a 1%er and stays at a job he hates b/c he loves being a 1%er. But he can quit and walk away at any time. But then how would he get that $3 million/year to which he is so richly entitled? Without that salary, he might become-egad!- a "prole" like the rest of us. So according to you he's got to work himself to death. Sorry: no he doesn't; he can leave whenever he wants-leave the billables behind, but then he'd have to leave that massive salary behind, too.
      It became obvious: you are one of the incredibly entitled partners described in the WSJ article. Not sure what account is getting billed for your pearls of wisdom here, but with so many bazillionaire clients, who's going to notice?
      But next time you want to write about "hate" and "envy" take a hard look in the mirror; it's clear that you are seething that the world doesn't recognize how special you are. And you don't care about the TJ grad with the 250K debt because s/he comes from a family of whiners, who are "proles", and are the "ilk" that has caused all these problems, because everyone, even the $3 million/yr biglaw partner is "equally poor." Yep, that all makes sense, although never realized how powerful my "ilk" was.
      And please, expand your repertoire; you've covered "hate" and "envy" repeatedly, but the other Deadly Sins are feeling left out. Please mention them, repeatedly, in your next post. That will serve multiple purposes: you'll be able to get more bile out, and we proles will feel all the more educated that someone so special would single us out.

    8. @11:26 and 12:28,

      You are filled with hate and envy. You state you care about the poor and the TJ graduate loaded with debt. Are people in biglaw responsible for that? Lol. No, law school professors stealing from the tax payer are responsible for that. They deflect from the fact they destroyed this people by trying to illicit envy of less successful people, instead of directing the rage to the people responsible: liberal law school professors who robbed them absolute blind,

      Explain to me in a reasoned, articulate way how the guy paying more than half of his income in taxes and working like a slave is responsible for the TJ graduate being destroyed. You remind me of the law school professors preaching their war against the one percent as they destroy the lives of their students because they are lazy and want to collect six figure salaries doing nothing.

      Who profits from student loans? Liberal law school professors. Who provides the student loans? The tax payer. Who controls the accrediting agencies in the government? Law school professor. Who gets destroyed? Law students.

      Somehow this discussion became about the income of biglaw drones. Hmmmmm.... Trying to deflect the anger of your victims from the people that did the stealing and onto other people that did nothing?

      Please tell me how the biglaw partner working 100 hours a week is responsible for the TJ associate that became a slave to debt.

      It is folks like you that contributed to the destruction of this profession and to the destruction of other lines of work.

      People in law are all working harder for less. Everyone. The reason is the lawyer oversupply, and everyone has been impacted from the biglaw partner making millions working 3500 hours a year as opposed to 1200 hours a week, to the shitlaw associate making 40k.

      But if you want to keep stealing, you need envy and irrational behavior. You don’t want people thinking, who did this to me? Law school professors and the government. How did they do this to me? They used convention and emotion to persuade me to make a bad decision, while preaching social responsibility and that the one percent is bad. What did they do when they were confronted of this fact? They told me personal responsibility and get over it.

      Did biglaw partners tell the TJ law student that they should have known better? That college educated students should know their professors wanted to scam them? No, it was liberal law school professors and liberal judges. It was the government, the government apparatuses, and the law school professors that profit directly from the government that screwed the kids over, not any working lawyer irrespective of income.

      You are the ones that keep telling fools who got jacked by liberal criminals that they need to get over it, and that it’s a good idea to go to law school, rofl!

      You are liars and thieves. If your victims can’t put two and two together, that’s on them. If their hate for people that work every single day of the year exceeds the hate of the people that ruined them and told them get over it, their suffering is on them.

    9. @11:26,

      I also don’t believe everything I hear, I just know the facts:

      And whenever someone confronts these parasites that have absolutely fleeced the tax payers of NYC (and other such cities), they are similarly confronted with distractions, deflections and appeals to envy.

      And for the record, the cop collecting that 500k a year pension is infinitely richer than the asshole billing 3000 hours a year to be a “millionaire” in NYC. He takes the “millionaire’s” money by force, pockets it, and watches TV all day. If anyone complains about this theft and corruption, the proles are marshallled to envy to distract them from the banditry.

      It’s like you: the law school professors robbed the money, the federal government enabled it, and the students were enslaved by it, but somehow, the callous biglaw partner is responsible for it because he or she doesn’t care.

      Crooks, thieves and fraudsters know how to use envy. I invite the scammed to employ some introspection and investigation as to who robbed them. Upon doing so, review the comments here. Does 5:01 and 11:26 sound like the law school professors who preached to you about sacrifice, responsibility, and the evil one percent as they robbed you of your future? To ask is to answer...

    10. Ah, deflection, where everybody hates but you. It must be exhausting, tirelessly defending the entitled rich. But please, where are the other Deadly Sins?
      But you've made it clear: you and your biglaw partner friends are very very special. And we should all be grateful that you've deigned to comment here. But you query: how did the biglaw partner help create this mess?
      Simple: biglaw partners and scam deans run the ABA; the ABA accredits the dumps which steal loan dollars from taxpayers and saddle the debts onto the TTT grads; and the ABA could stop it all, tomorrow, if it wanted to. But it doesn't; the scam deans want their federal dollars, and the entitlted biglaw partners just want their lives to be the way they used to be, with non-stop respect and lots of money. So the ABA has the power, but it does absolutely nothing.
      And who's the scam dean?; again look in the mirror. Your heart bleeds for the biglaw partner, while you deride the "ilk" who call them entitled, as they are just "whiners" who are "proles" and "losers", who are "lazy" and who do "nothing". And to disagree with you? Well, then that's "stealing" Who's spewing hate now? Here's a hint: you.
      You've also made it clear that my "ilk"-in other words, the non millionaires-need to realize our station, stay in our lane, and be appreciative that you drop these pearls of wisdom which make zero sense.
      But here's the key quote, which is apparently your mantra:
      "You hate though. You get it out. Let your hate destroy more." Simply substitute first person, and that says it all. After spewing venom for paragraph after paragraph, classic deflection.
      But let's look at "facts"; you accuse the retired cop of taking the millionaire's money "by force". It's "banditry" to you. So retired cops are running stick-up rings in their retirement? Maybe you ought to lay of the hyperbole for a little while.
      Yep, pretty simple to demonize an opponent in the hopes that no one examines your tissue of nonsense. It must be exhausting being a tireless defender of BigLaw, which has the power but has done nothing, as in zero, to end the scam.
      But please, continue the namecalling and accusations of stealing and fraud, etc etc. We proles need to be constantly prodded by our "betters".

    11. @7:28,

      Indeed the ABA could stop this travesty. And now for the facts.

      The leadership section of the ABA section on Legal Education and the Bar includes approximately 23 members. Let’s do the breakdown. (Someone can check my math, but the gist should be clear).

      There are 11- ELEVEN- academics. Most of them are professors and deans of lower tier law schools.

      There are six government employees. Half of them are judges and approximately half of them appear to be government officials responsible for administering court operations and bar admissions in certain states.

      3 practicing attorneys (midlaw, small law, and solo). One non-profit member. 2 biglaw members.

      The one biglaw person is the chief diversity officer at his firm, and probably believes very strongly in letting everyone into legal practice on idealistic grounds. If you read his bio, he’s been involved with various diversity initiatives throughout his career.

      The other biglaw member has been practicing law for a really long time and also works part time as law a school professor...

      Hmmmm... Indeed, it does appear it’s those biglaw folks pulling the strings over there with their less than five percent majority power over at the ABA (rofl), not the law school professors and government employees that constitute approximately 70 percent of the power.

      In reality thought it’s the professors and law school deans pulling the strings. They want the guaranteed federal money rolling in. They are stealing and destroying, and if you walk into any of their lectures this coming fall, their rhetoric will more closely resemble your rally agains the one percent than any of the other ramblings here (mine included).

      “and the entitlted biglaw partners just want their lives to be the way they used to be, with non-stop respect and lots of money.”

      And therein lies your hate and envy, which clouds all reason. The biglaw partners went from billing 1200 hours a year in the 80s to more than double that today. In the past, when there wasn’t such a severe surplus of attorneys, biglaw people had options, and this kind of abuse wasn’t possible. Now though, for the most part, if you want to make money in law and your parents aren’t rich, that’s much the only option you have. Since options outside of biglaw are far and few between because of the absurd over supply, you get 5-year associate burn outs and an overall miserable existence for everyone.

      The surplus of lawyers has significantly contributed to the decline in quality of life for biglaw lawyers (like everyone else in private practice).

      But when you hate incredible people because you can’t do what they can do, namely practice at that level and that intensity (most biglaw associates burn out in five years), it clouds your judgement. The emotion takes over. You want to just being everyone down and make them the same, even if that just means everyone is equally miserable (legal profession today) :(.

      Your post is an illustration of that, especially confronted with the facts. The law school professors are the gangsters. They control the government apparatus responsible for accrediting law schools. They profit from the loans. They use your disgusting rhetoric to distract people from their banditry, and they have created an army of debt slaves. When confronted with what they have done, the socialist bullshit is given a rest, and some cold hard !bootstraps! speech comes into play. Somehow though, biglaw partners are contributing to this...?

      It’s clear to me you never bothered to look who runs the ABA or it’s composition based on your little hate filled diatribe. All you see is a bunch of millionaires you need to bring down to make yourself feel better. And it’s with that emotional exploitation that those lazy criminals are able to steal so effectively and get away with it. If anyone tries to go after their grift, let’s rile everyone up with emotion on some unrelated matter to distract from the theft and destruction.

    12. Also, yeah, the cop raking in 500k a year in pension? That’s thievery. And you know how that thievery is justified? By pointing out how XYZ profession is rich, so don’t our “public servants” “deserve” XYZ in compensation? Thereafter all sorts of mal-effects occur.

    13. Hate? Calling someone "entitled" is hate? Jeez, didn't know you millionaires had such thin skin...
      And it's clear you hate those retired cops engaging in "thievery" as it's clear their "ilk" have no business getting any retirement at all, as they are "lazy" and "stupid" and need to obey their "betters".
      Seriously, look in the mirror; the list of people you clearly detest would be very, very long: retired cops, teachers, working cops, teachers, firefighters...actually, anyone but millionaire biglaw partners who could leave those jobs at any time but don't because they are so entitled.
      And then you go out of your way to prove my point-11 hacademics running the ABA-and then you get all upset about it. Take a look at the awards the ABA gives out, which routinely include those wonderful biglaw partners sullying their hands with "pro bono" get the picture who's running things. And who do you think funds the ABA? Hint: it's not the hacademics.
      So please continuing "rolf"ing, and deciding everyone who disagrees with your diatribes somehow "hates". Another clue: calling these partners "entitled" doesn't equal hate, and go read the article-their complaints and whining most assuredly equal entitlement.
      And clouded judgment? Hate and envy? Such "incredible" people? These are biglaw partners and associates who could quit at any time, not indentured servants. You act as if someone is holding a gun to their heads. And the maximum billing requirements: they VOLUNTEERED for this. They can leave at any time.
      You passionate, bile-filled defense of these poor, entitled millionaires is mind-boggling-and you won't quit. Everything you write is classic transference. Someone disagrees with you, so you detest them. But it is they who "hate" and "envy" as their "ilk" doesn't respect these "incredible" people because this ilk is too "stupid" and "lazy" to recognize what Masters of the Universe biglaw partners really are.
      So next time you write about "hate" take a look in the mirror.

    14. That's it-you're wearyattorney, Tireless Defender of Thin Skinned Entitled Millionaires, Scourge of civil servants and retired cops, teacher, and firefighters everywhere. Your elitist ramblings are always consistent: the little people need to know their place and appreciate their betters.
      You posted endless drivel on JDU just before it collapsed, and it's clear you've got nothing but bile and time on your hands.
      So no more from me; your endless defense of the entitled is pointless to address any further. We proles need to know our place.

    15. @8:08 and 10:14,

      You can deflect and accuse all you want, but calling people that work 100 hours a week without vacation and paying an effective tax rate of 55 percent to fund the various public sector grifts, including unregulated student loans to any shithole that can open up and run by any crook with pulse is ridiculous.

      Most of them can’t leave because there aren’t exit options after biglaw due to the severe over supply. Once you burn out, it’s pretty much lights out.

      I didn’t prove your point. Your point is that biglaw runs the ABA, including the accrediting arm. That’s factually untrue. Academics and government employees run it. Saying that biglaw runs it or biglaw people are entitled because some drone gets an award for doing pro bono while also getting assfucked at 2500 per annum shows who has envy and who doesn’t.

      Biglaw employees function in the most capitalistic, competitive and brutal market in the world. There are no bailouts. There are no political protections. There is no mercy. Less than five percent can get biglaw. Less than five percent of that five percent can maintain it for more than five years because the environment is so brutal.

      It’s become brutal because of lawyer oversupply. These guys went from billing 1200 hours a year to more than double that. You think they did that to themselves? No. That happens because of lawyer over supply. The people facilitating government induced lawyer over supply are academics and government employees. Look at the numbers. 23 people only 2 of which are biglaw, with almost half being academics and more than a third being government employees.

      These guys aren’t entitled for pointing the job sucks. They aren’t demanding the public give them money like the cop drawing down 500k, which is the equivalent of owning 12.5 million dollars of stock in a standard dividend producing stock (less then .1 percent of the American population has that). They compete viscously. They ride it for as long as they can, and when they die their children are rich (actually rich).

      I don’t hate public servants. In fact, I think it’s the only legitimate path to a decent life in today’s America given various economic factors, one of which is proles hate people that compete and make money by hard work and talent and don’t kind that the really rich, the people who don’t trade time for money, are tax exempt for doing nothing.

      Having said that, there has to be limits. If you can become fuck you rich through public service, eventually the system is going to collapse, you can try and law-school-Professor-style deflect from this very real fact, but money doesn’t grow on trees and for that public servants to become lottery level rich (in addition to all the other grifts), the rest of the population has to work harder to support shit and eventually things collapse.

      But you won’t address the core points, just like if we walk into any college classroom today, those lying, thieving crooks will spout rhetoric more akin to yours than mine, and they will do so they can steal and no one will notice.

      Fact: the accrediting committee at the ABA is controlled by academics and government employees, not biglaw attorneys.

      Fact: Biglaw is getting worse and worse as a career path because of lawyer oversupply, that’s why the billing requirement has almost tripled in the last three decades.

      Fact: If you burnout of biglaw, you don’t have many options because of the surplus of attorneys. (So these “millionaires” don’t age as many options as you think).

      Fact: if you want to make money in law and your parents aren’t rich, it’s pretty much biglaw or bust, especially if you have loans.

      Will you address facts? No. You’ll spew garbage. Law school professor style.

    16. Do you even read what you write?
      You wrote:
      "That’s factually untrue. Academics and government employees run it."
      FACT: The overwhelming majority of the Board of Governors of the ABA are (no doubt whiny) biglaw partners,either in multinational or local biglaw firms. It is the Board of Governors that runs the ABA. So every word in that sentence above is untrue, pure and simple-that's a fact.
      So how's that for a "fact"; the plain and simple reality is you can't bother with the facts. You tirelessly defend whiny, privileged, and entitled millionaires with all sorts of nonsense-but here's another "fact"-these entitled people made a choice to enter biglaw, and they can leave at any time-what don't you understand about that? If it's such a grind, to the point where they are "walking corpse(s)" why don't they leave? They aren't slave; they aren't indentured servants; those are facts. And the fact is-they can quit at any time. But egads! If they did, then they would be...."proles" like the rest of our "ilk".
      And please don't respond with any more of your fabrications. I've grown weary of your "weary attorney" schtick, with your open disdain for "proles" and others of their "ilk" who are "lazy" etc etc.
      Go back to your country club and have another Manhattan, where you can condemn the proles and praise fellow millionaires. Maybe that will help you think more clearly.

    17. Now for some more (actual) facts.

      “The Section's Council and Accreditation Committee are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) as the national accrediting agency for programs leading to the J.D. In this function, the Council and the Section are independent of the ABA, as required by DOE regulations. All state supreme courts recognize ABA-approved law schools as meeting the legal education requirements to qualify for the bar examination; forty-six states limit eligibility for bar admission to graduates of ABA-approved schools.”

      The Section bestowed with the government powers, which makes it, effectively, the government on the issue, is the section I cited above, namely the “Section of Legal Education and the Bar.”

      As I mentioned above, but I’ll reiterate here, more than half of the relevant Section’s members are academics, mainly of lower tier law schools, and over a quarter are government employees. Only two are biglaw lawyers.

      The board of governors doesn’t have the accrediting authority, the section composed mainly of academics does; it’s stated plainly on the page, which I copied for you above, since I imagine you are slamming away at your keyboard furiously instead of reading. But for argument’s sake, assuming the board of governors does have some power, 6/44 of the attorneys are from big law firms. There are quite a few solo practitioners and members do smaller firms, the combinations of which vastly outnumbers the number of people in biglaw.

      Incidentally, and as an aside, I assume you are liberal, but I could be wrong. This is why your philosophy doesn’t work in practice. The government is composed of people and they will act in their interest, and not in the interest of the public (that’s human nature). That’s why this is happening. It’s happening in other more important regulatory bodies too, and irrespective of who is President.

      Now, let’s assume for a moment that someone from the board of governors tries to speak up about this. Assume any practicing attorney tries to say something, but particularly someone from biglaw. I can already see the devious academic fucks and their appeal to emotion “this biglaw attorney wants to keep the poor out the legal profession, especially minorities! This millionaire doesn’t want his country club disturbed with the proles!” Now, someone with your emotional disposition is going to be instantly persuaded by this rhetoric, and isn’t going to examine underlying motivations, namely, as our boomer friend pointed out above, who you may be one and the same in relation thereto, that the academic hack considers practicing law in any capacity as a fate worse than death, and that he or she is entitled to 150-400k in income with total job security, minimal work, and provided by any means and without regard for consequence by the federal tax payer.

      This little grift is a microcosm of the whole higher education grift because I assure you that this is how it works in other disciplines as well, with the possible exception of medicine because you actually have to be a real doctor to teach medicine unlike law and other disciplines.

      As to why biglaw partners don’t leave law: they have very few exit options, just like everyone else and this is in large part because of the ridiculous surplus of attorneys. It’s the same reason the billing rate tripled in 30 years. It’s the same reason most attorneys don’t quit their jobs. It’s the same reason most expendable employees tolerate BS: no other options. The difference is that the reason that this is happening is because of an absurd federal policy that’s hurting everyone, not just practicing attorneys.

      And with that in mind, the only thing I’m “weary” of is envious idiots like you serving as the means by which these devious fucks earn a good living at my expense and at the expense of everyone else that pays taxes.

    18. Let me make this simple for you: the ABA is funded by biglaw, and the Board of Governors-biglaw all-appoint/approve the members of the committees. It's all biglaw all the time, supporting the hackademics basically because they just don't care.
      And yes, please inform me when the 13th Amendment was repealed, since apparently everyone you know is trapped in a job they just can't quit.

    19. Let me make this real simple for you: the power to accredit vests directly in the Section on Legal Education, as directed by the Department of Education, not the Board of Governors. Moreover, the Board of Governors consists primarily of individuals from smaller firms (only 6/44 are from biglaw). If the Board of Governors consists primarily of biglaw people, and biglaw people have contempt for lower tier graduates, why are there so many deans and professors from shitholes appointed to that Section? Why are working attorneys of any kind making such appointments?

      The answer:

      If anyone tries to interfere with the hackademics pillaging of the public coffers and annihilation of lower income lemmings, said hackademics will proceed to leverage an anti-one-percent screed akin to your little diatribes as supplied above. “The rich white lawyer doesn’t want minorities to become lawyers! The only way for minorities to become lawyers is to pay me 200k a year to spout useless nonesense for ten hours a week. Every other way has to be disallowed and the community has to pay me this sum.” Gangsters. Thieves. Con-artists.

      Look over there! The rich jerk-off working 100 hours a week is fucking you! (Stuffs bags of money into his or her pocket and spends five hours a week writing some shit on transsexual discrimination in post-modern 21st century labor unions.

      Your rhetoric is their weapon. Your hate is their gun. That’s why no one can stop them from their stealing. You are happier if everyone is torn down, then if the true criminals are held acccountable.

    20. The true criminals are the bankers and the government. Good luck taking either, and especially both, out.

      Law schools are just taking advantage of the social and legal climate in place. The bankers are the ones getting that daily capitalizing non-dischargable guaranteed income. And what exactly did the bankers do to earn that? They don't even have to teach or trick students into attending, they literally print money out of nothing then lend it to everyone else---that is how fiat money works. At least the scammers have to make up nonsense and write dumb articles and what not.

      If I had the choice I'd rather be the rich banker. Scam everyone and yet people are too stupid to blame you for anything, except every century or two.

    21. @ 3:57,

      The banks and the government do do more damage, but the banks don’t prevent as to their motives.

      The government is the worst player, including the law school professors that are vested with accrediting powers because they pretend to be trying to help the public.

      Also, most student loans are government direct now.

  15. More scams edumacation scams, this one reported by the Chronicle of Higher Edumacation: "The news was grim. Columbia University’s English department had failed to place a single current Ph.D. candidate into a tenure-track job this year. And 19 new doctoral students had accepted admission into the program, raising questions about why the cohort is so large when the job prospects aren’t plentiful. This had “given rise to some alarm,” concerned graduate students wrote in an April 30 letter to department leadership."

    1. Columbia probably has one of the best PhD programs in English the US. This highlights the need for the federal government to put more resources into collection of actual employment outcomes of expensive graduate degree programs. It is not in the interest of the universities to make this data known, so if the federal government does not require disclosures of employment outcomes, Americans will continue to ruin their lives getting education that is a pathway to unemployment, underemployment and frankly miserable life.

    2. If it helps any-and it probably doesn't-the urban legend of English Phd driving a taxi has been around for decades. It's now joined by the Lawyer driving Uber. Unfortunately, it appears both are reality and not legend.

    3. History has shown that the most lethal predators know how to use human envy to devastating effect. Education is a primary example of this.

      The answer is to simple it’s breathtaking: if you aren’t mind-blowingly brilliant and can’t afford to pay for education straight cash, just don’t go. Nothing is going to happen. Just don’t go. The predator trying to illicit your envy by telling you about the children of the rich wants your money. He doesn’t care about you. He’s not trying to sell you something to equalize things, he wants your blood- boomer style. He wants to tell you about social justice, to make the world a better place, peace and love, etc. And once he has your money, the cold sociopathy of “boot straps” emerges. Don’t give him your money. That’s the best thing for you and everyone else. I know it’s hard. I know it goes against convention. I know the TV says XYZ, but the TV is lying. Don’t give him your money.

      Get rid of the federal guarantee on student loans. We need to compromise on everything else, including fucking every single person that is in debt, no forgiveness. We need just need to get rid of the federal guarantee.

      We have to fight these sociopaths where it hurts. When they come out “whiny complaining losers! Pay back your debt!” Agreed gramps, we need to pay back the loans, but end the federal guarantee.

      Here’s a millionaire boot-strap boomer that gets it.

      See what I’m talking about? Is this guy bad? Maybe. Is he law school professor bad? No way. Even he knows the answer

    4. I meant to post this video of Ramsey. So apropo to the discussion.

  16. Vampires is not at all like in the movies or books. Sure, I understand. You are young you have the whole world open to you. You can be anything that you choose if you apply yourself and try hard to work toward that goal. But being a Vampire is not what it seems like. It’s a life full of good, and amazing things. We are as human as you are.. It’s not what you are that counts, But how you choose to be. Do you want a life full of interesting things? Do you want to have power and influence over others? To be charming and desirable? To have wealth, health, and longevity? contact the Vampires Lord on his Email:

    1. Yep, it really is the Wild West here; perhaps time for admin to be the new sheriff in town, as the posts have gotten increasingly, er, off-point.
      But if you want to be a vampire, ok; just don't go to a TTT law school.

  17. I’m a federal patent board of appeals patent judge. The pay is around 160-190k a year with excellent benefits. When I started I the early 2000s, a patent associate from a decent firm with decent experience could easily get this job. Whenever we post now, we get flooded with people with tons of experience in patent law, including senior partners that make double and triple what i make. Practicing patent law has become so awful in the last 15 years that people, even at the apex, are doing anything they can to escape. In fact, I know senior inhouse people trying to escape as well because the situation has become so bad.

    One of the posters above alluded to every speciality becoming gutted and terrible, and I can’t think of a better example. In the early 2000s, a partner at a decent small firm, let alone in biglaw, practicing in patent law would scoff at my job. Now, as I said, we get flooded with applicants for every single opening. That’s how bad private practice is, and patent law has additional barriers to entry that the regular practice of law does not have. I saw this transformation in 15 years, and I can only imagine how much worse it’s going to get (not just in patent law but general practice as well).

    I’m so grateful my husband forced me to take my current job. I have my pension vested, I make close to 200k and I have a life. Every Sunday, when I go to church, I say a special prayer of gratitude I made the move. I see the misery of my colleagues in private practice.

    But even my job isn’t going to be good soon, thankfully I’ll be closer to retirement then. I saw it happen with patent examiners when the former director came in from the private sector. He knew how hard attorneys were getting killed in private practice, so he quickly instituted examination guidelines that has made the lives of examiners pretty bad (like private sector patent practitioners) because he knew could get away with it based on his experience in the private sector.

    Good luck out there. It’s really bad. If you have something that isn’t total hell right now in law be happy because it will be total hell in the future.

    1. That is exactly correct. As you said, "we get flooded with applicants for every single opening. That’s how bad private practice is". What confounds is why, given that there is so much competition for every single job as a lawyer, so many gullible young people keep going to law school. There was a time, probably over 30 years ago, when the Public Defender's Office had trouble finding lawyers who wanted to work there, and judges literally ordered private counsel to take on PD cases either pro bono or for a low hourly rate. Now, in my state, lawyers claw at each other over $50 dollar per hour Public Defender Panel cases. Where I practice, anyone who speaks Spanish can make $50 per hour as a court-appointed translator--a person with a GED who happens to speak Spanish can make exactly the same amount as a lawyer with 10 plus years of experience. And yet, just yesterday, I heard an excited mother boasting of how her daughter just started attending Law School. . .it is like people have no idea what is really going on out there. There are many, many careers--like literally commercial truck-driving--where people with very limited education and experience can immediately get well paying jobs--so instead, folks spend 7 years in college and law school, and take a two-day Bar Exam, to be un, or under, employed. The only people who seem to understand how bad things are for lawyers, are experienced lawyers.

    2. Read 10:02's post, as this is the situation in my jd, too-although maybe even worse. Whereas years ago the PD's office would take anyone for conflict cases, now you have to apply and be accepted before being placed on the panel from which attorneys are chosen-and yep, for $50/hr, with a cap on fees and no pay for things like waiting around or travel time. Knowing this, the DAs often make assigned PDs wait until the very end of the docket, hoping to squeeze a bad deal out of the assigned PD who has been sitting around for two hours w/o pay, since only in-court time can be billed. When I was on the panel, this happened multiple times.
      And yes, the money is bad...but paying business is so bad I know panel attorneys who show up at docket with no clients, hoping a conflict case shows up. They'll make a point to let the assigned PD and the judge's clerk know that they are there for that purpose. So sitting around waiting to catch a $50/hr case with a fee cap. Yep, it's a glamorous life.
      And yes, I still hear parents bragging about Junior attending law school. It's clear lots of people haven't gotten, or will never listen to, the message.

    3. @10:02,

      Go speak to any poor minority family, Black, Latin, hell, even forget minority, even a poor white family,m. Tell them law school is a mistake and their child will ruin their life by going. They’ll look at you like you have two heads. In the case of the minority, they’ll think it’s the rich white man trying to hold them down. In the case of the white man, they’ll think it’s the rich man trying to hold them down.

      The scammers exploit this. That’s why when you go at the heart of the matter: guaranteed student loans, they’ll scream racism, etc. Thats why identity politics is a con. That’s why this is a joke. That’s why we can’t fix this cancer.

  18. ""When I started I the early 2000s, a patent associate from a decent firm with decent experience could easily get this job" " Easily? You mean Federal Administrative Law Judge positions for technically difficult subjects have not always been highly competitive? Or are you saying that high level patent firms and associates were so few and far between, that 99.999% of the legal market was excluded from these jobs to begin with? so the rest of you had a good shot.

    1. They’ve always been highly competitive in the sense that getting into patent law had additional barriers to entry, not what’s going on now.

      In the past, an associate with 5-7 years of experience in biglaw or a respectable midlands patent firm could expect to be competitive for my job. Many didn’t consider it and it was rare for partners and senior inhouse folks to make the transition.

      Now? For every opening we get flooded with senior partners at major law firms and in-house people with serious credentials, on top of legions of associates applying.

      The reason for this change is patent law in private practice (in-house or firm) has become awful. Is at as awful as general practice? No. But it’s a shadow of its former self. Billable hour requirements are up, companies have compressed what they pay for patents dramatically, and you have to compete with foreigners who write patents under the “supervision” of a licensed US agent or attorney.

      I chimed in here because I lost two colleagues to suicide over the last decade, and I know the profession isn’t what it was. People are not going into it, even now, with a clear understanding of what is involved or where things are headed.

      My husband had amazing foresight and I feel so blessed that I got out at the right time, but I wouldn’t advice anyone to get involve with this now, patent or otherwise.

      Good Lick.

  19. What everyone who posts on this blog completely ignores is the glamour of practicing law; how many doctors or engineers get to be on TV?:

  20. "... so he quickly instituted examination guidelines that has made the lives of examiners pretty bad..."

    Can you elaborate here? I know that patent examining is not for sissies.

    1. Other posters have commented that production requirements-in other words, the number of cases reviewed per examiner-has gone up dramatically as bosses realized that they could squeeze ever more work out of desperate employees.

    2. I spoke a little crudely here, but basically he increased the quota of what an Examiner has to do monthly, while also requiring more details and accountability for what Examiners do (Office Actions, etc).

      The guy had over 30 years experience in the private sector, so he knew the situation and he knew he could impose these requirements without significant attrition. In fact, Examiner positions are receiving tons of applications per opening now as people try to escape the horrors of private practice, and they aren’t getting anywhere near the types of benefits that were present when I started at the USPTO (pension, tuition reimbursement etc).

      It’s a giant decline. I don’t expect it to get better.

    3. Many people think that patent examining is a horrible job.

    4. I have dealt with US patent examiners for 13 years now. They are not of the same caliber as European examiners. European examiners take their jobs seriously. US Patent examiners put maybe 20 hours total into examination and leave it up to the PTAB and the district courts to determine whether the patent is valid.

      A patent examining job is an excellent life though, if you can put up with doing the same job every day. Hotelling, good pay, federal benefits, etc. I know several attorneys who have been at the PTO for almost a decade now.

    5. @4:59,

      It is. Try and apply for one though and see what happens (with the 1000 other applicants).

    6. @ 6:18 AM,

      Not anymore it isn’t a good life.

    7. A patent examining job is an excellent life though, if you can put up with doing the same job every day. Hotelling, good pay, federal benefits, etc. I know several attorneys who have been at the PTO for almost a decade now."

      Like "golden hand-cuffs."

  21. Note the justification for firing this lawyer- that she would be very easy to replace:

  22. Retired Coast Guard LawyerAugust 27, 2019 at 11:17 AM

    I agree completely with 8:53's post. I just retired after 39 years as an employment and ethics counselor for the Coast Guard which included 9 years in the Navy JAG Corps. When I retired we were receiving 200 applications and I am not exaggerating for every attorney opening and these applicants were from Georgetown, GW, and Virginia. Attorneys from private practice who were hired literally told me that they felt they had died and gone to heaven. In government you have a life, a pension, no billable hours, malpractice insurance, and great training. I now do HR part time and like 8:53 say a prayer of gratitude for my pension and just a wonderful career as an attorney. My classmates laughed at me and sang the Village People song "In The Navy" when they learned I was going on active duty. They are not laughing now.

  23. Cooley Cuts Tuition:

    1. Does it make you a bad lawyer if you don't have an instant answer. If someone says how do I file this case and you have to research what jurisdiction it belongs in, does that make you a bad lawyer. If you are uncertain of the answer, but think you might know with research and/or refreshment are you a bad lawyer?

      Stressed out.

  24. Become a law firm partner and let your hair turn white from all of the stress:

  25. From my perspective, I once enjoyed practicing law and made a good living at it but now we have to deal with huge advertising law firms. One truly repugnant firm here in Florida has a business model of settling most of its cases quickly and cheaply before a lawyer even looks at the case. Everything is handled by the paralegals. The results? Settlement values have gone way down because the adjusters are used to settling cheap. And then we have to listen to non stop advertising about how this firm fights hard for its clients and has the money to take on its toughest foes, when in reality this firm sells out its clients day and night. But the general public doesn't get that, so in addition to settlement values going way down, we have to deal with the competition from these firms. And every year it gets worse. I'm glad I am going to be able to retire very soon.

    1. Here in CT I have seen huge advertiser firms get their clients to take the policy limit when the case is worth far more and it is obvious the defendant has ample resources to pursue. There is no money in trying cases let alone tracking down assets.

    2. In Florida, we have essentially a loser pays the winner attorney fee issue, so there is actually value in trying a case and winning as it is usually the insurer on the hook for the fees since it is the insurer who refused to settle on behalf of its insured.

  26. I started reading this blog after we lost a junior partner at my firm to suicide (I think it even garnered national media attention). I’m personally grateful this individual did not have children, but I digress. I think the information here is very accurate, but ultimately irrelevant because the general population isn’t going to change it’s bias any time soon.

    The assessment is generally correct though that the profession is in significant decline, and I’ve watched it happen gradually over the last 25 years. There’s been a very mild reprieve over the last few years on account of what happened in 2008. There aren’t as many mid-level candidates because no one received the training in the interim years, and the quality of law school applicants has declined significantly over the last decade (we are quite cognizant of it). But despite this, the general trend is down. Even that mild reprieve doesn’t change the nature of things: there are far too few openings in relation to candidates, you will work your ass off for what really isn’t a lot of money until, in the extremely unlikely event, you make partner at a firm of adequate size, and so forth.
    I don’t suspect young people are going to stop going irrespective (true or otherwise) of the information that’s out there.

    I found the present discussion in this thread particularly interesting though, and so I wanted to chime in and offer some advice to people practicing in large law firms specifically, but others may find it useful as a general principle ( only one person’s opinion at the end of the day).

    I’ve seen colleagues of mine try and escape the very difficult life of practicing law in large law firms and try and pursue other avenues, e.g. government, in-house, etc, and the net has always been a bad situation becoming much worse. Nine times out of ten the situation ends in a catastrophe. They either wind up working comparable hours in-house, laid off, or otherwise find themselves unemployable after a few years of leaving. They had the wrong frame of mind. They didn’t understand that law transitioned from a gentleman’s profession to a service profession. They wanted to find happiness, but they didn’t want to serve.

    Why am I writing this? Effectively, I’m writing this to make the point that if you are a lawyer, you’ve effectively made a decision to be a servant and you’ve forfeited your own happiness in the process. That’s particularly true in the current environment. The question is what can you do for others, and in the process, although you personally won’t be happy, you can find some meaning in your life.

    I work 80-100 hours a week. I hate my wife and she hates me. (Hate is probably a strong word, but we don’t enjoy our company anymore). I haven’t had a vacation in 15 years, and I don’t have time for hobbies. She had to watch her friends’ spouses be there on holidays, birthdays, etc and she always resented me for not being around (more not this later).

    I struggled financially as an associate. After taxes, rent, paying for babysitters, and the cost of living where I live, I wasn’t left with much money. I didn’t try and leave because I realized that the reason these firms can do what they do is that they can get away with it, and that as a result of the growing surplus of attorneys, it could only get worse. Everyone who left, as far as I can tell, took a break from the temporary pain, but either wound up unemployable after a lay off or wound up having to work like I do but for a fraction of the pay.

    What kept me going? I lived to serve. In my case it was for my kids. My kids are going to have an absolutely spectacular life. As one poster alluded to above, the actual lawyers themselves at most big law firms aren’t really rich during their life, but when they are done, their families are very well taken care of.

  27. Continued from above:

    I’m in my late fifties now and I just started making really serious money in the last five years. At 45, after practicing law for more than a decade, I had 50k in cash assets, a mortgaged apartment and 60k in my 40k. At 53, things started to change, drastically. But life passed me by.

    If I stop working in my firm right now, I wouldn’t be able to find another job that paid anything close to what I’m making now, and I would have to work similar hours as things decline more and more.

    So I keep going.

    My son is 19 years old and I have seven figures of tax-free municipal bonds in a trust set up for him, and I’m not done by a mile (he’s going to have real estate, stocks, etc). My daughter has a similar set up. They will also inherit my apartment, which I paid off last year.

    My wife and I don’t divorce because she’s on board with my plan in that we had a terrible life, but we want something better for the kids.

    By way of example: my son was on a yacht in Ibiza this summer with three (female) classmates, and my daughter is under the tutelage of one of the world’s greatest masters in a subject she’s deeply interested about.

    I billed 320 hours in July and 230 in August. I took a weekend off to go fishing with my sister and her husband. That was my summer experience.

    My kids did more this summer than I ever did in my whole life, and that provides a measure of contentment.

    Colleagues of mine that are in areas that offer some benefit to society, e.g. tech related specialties, also find some measure of contentment in that they serve their clients. With that in mind, for those attorneys that aren’t in a large law firm, I hope you are practicing in an area where you are doing some good, and can find some contentment in service that way.

    So the net of it is if you made the unfortunate decision of becoming an attorney, and unless you are very early in your career and without obligations, which can give you the chance to do something else, you have to understand you have forfeited your own life and your own happiness. The only thing that will likely keep you going is sacrificing for something other than yourself. I’m not moralizing this point. I’m not suggesting you do this to be a good person. I’m suggesting you frame your mind that way because, as of today and where things are likely headed, there’s almost no chance you can find enjoyment and pleasure, but you can keep yourself sane by thinking of what good you will do for others.

    This wasn’t always the case. As some people noted. The people that took government jobs very early on from my graduating class (and before) are personally happy, but I don’t think present or future generations are going to be afforded the same benefits.

    But with respect to the latter point, those individuals are nowhere near as prepared to give the next generation what I am giving my children. And many of their kids are going to absolutely annihilated as economic conditions further stratify, whereas my children are going to be free as doves in the big blue sky. My wife even acknowledges this point, and she sees the sacrifice we made is worth something.

    I hope those of you who made the plunge into this field can find some measure of contentment serving something larger than yourselves, and I hope those of you who are undeterred in pursuing a career in law can similarly begin to orient your minds towards this purpose. A lot of people here like to point out statistics, probabilities of success failure, and all those things that people are likely to ignore, but I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that if you become an attorney today you will one hundred percent be miserable unless you serve something higher than yourself. There are no exceptions. It’s not set up to be good for the individual practitioners anymore, and I think a lot of the people are struggling with this. You aren’t going to have a happy life full of fun and excitement (unless someone did for you what I am doing for my children).

    1. You are going to spoil your children beyond recovery. Too much luxury will make them soft and worthless. All of your sacrifice will be for nothing. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but I am right.

  28. Florida Coastal is on the ropes, perhaps?

  29. I am sorry 4:32, but you do realize that not everybody is unhappy practicing law, even in the big firms, that many in the big firms successfully make lateral transfers for higher quality lives, and that few people sacrifice their lives just so their kids can have million dollar trust funds. You are a rare bird. Most people I know want to ensure their kids have a good education with their intentions to die just as their money is running out.

  30. @1:32 and 3:27,

    My children are acquiring “real” skills, to what extent that is going to mean anything in the coming years is yet to be seen. My son is a STEM major and my daughter speaks five languages. I don’t think that matters much anymore though.

    From what I am seeing, the only salvation is going to be owning a significant and vast set of diverse assets. Even if you are a capable person, unless you are well capitalized, other people, most of whom have money, and primarily by virtue of inheritance of actual capital or connections, will make the money off of you and take your idea to task. You’ll work harder and more hours for less and less: less money, more hours, and less stability. Law is shaping up to be one of the worse choices overall, on average, but I don’t see anything better from other options.

    My son’s trust is at the point that the dividend yields outweigh a first year associate salary and the municipal bonds all generate more net income (they are tax free) than a first year working hard can ever hope to make. My daughter’s is catching up.

    Regarding spoiling my children, that’s just a canard of the rich. The same thing with the dying and leaving the kids nothing part. I vowed to myself I would never be a liar like that once we decided what we were going to do. The vast majority of the people who are rich in the world, even the United States, have an enormous head start in terms of money. Even the ones who accomplish enormous tasks and become successes in their own rights have vast capital to start, otherwise their ideas would be appropriated by others for sheckles. Rich people lie about leaving their kids fortunes, it’s like an unwritten rule. Also, members of the older generations that squandered their wealthy know deep down inside what horrors await their children in the next few decades, and so they spout out this placebo that education is some panacea.

    An educational system designed for a post war economy where the United States was the hegemon, and with a tax code that prevented extreme stratification of wealth, is not equipped to get kids ahead in a globalized economy, where real skills matter and where 26 people have more wealth than the bottom half of the planet combined. Kids need an enormous head start if they are going to have any chance in this environment. To each his own though, my kids need employees, if everyone thought like I did, my children wouldn’t be living like kings as the majority of the youth are headed into bondage.

    I think social mobility is going to be a thing of the past, especially for the generation after the millennials. The stats are absolutely harrowing. I can’t lie though, I do get an enormous sense of satisfaction that my children are going to be the employers of people whose parents were less diligent and responsible. It makes the sacrifice worth it to a large extent.

    As to law, I still think that option is available to younger elitish attorneys: if you want to sacrifice your life for a higher purpose, such as the next generation live properly, it’s doable. People telling you that there is actual happiness in big firms or that there are quality of life opportunities in lateraling are in my view egregiously lying. Companies know that their is a vast surplus of attorneys and compensation, security and leisure has been adjusted accordingly, and I expect it to follow the same trajectory its been following, namely down, The government was an option, but contrary to what some posters on this blog are suggesting, I think that ship has sailed. The option is to work extremely hard, invest and save aggressively, and maybe, your children will do better than you did. That’s the net of it.

    Again, one man’s view.

    1. To 7:32
      Much of what you say rings true although you also present some false assumptions.

      You say that law is a good choice, if you are willing to sacrifice your life to a firm. This is false. The position simply do not exist in any appreciable number to reach this conclusion.

      However, your statements about the outdated nature of the educational and economic models I think are spot on. And as far as the decline in social mobility for the next generation, I think we are already there.

    2. @4:26,

      You are correct. I didn’t mean law was a good option for most people, but for those that can somehow get into biglaw, if you have the proper mindset, it can be a good way for the next generation to be happy.

      This blog mentions, correctly, that law is a terrible option because not only will most people not have an opportunity to get a job that can pay back their loans, but for the few that do get such a job, most will burn out before a pay off even happens. My advice is directed to the latter group.

      You absolutely cannot be happy in this line of work anymore. It’s for sociopaths and people that want to sacrifice for a higher calling. It’s a servant profession, not a gentleman’s profession.

      The associates that burn out are under some illusion that being an attorney will allow them to be personally happy. This is a ludicrous assumption that stems from not understanding the relationship between money and time, the cost of living of major urban centers, the distinction between asset appreciation and income derived from work, and how capital gains and investments are taxed in relation to income generated from work.

      Assume my son only had a portion of the seven figure securities portfolio I’ve set aside for him. Assume it’s just one million dollars. At 8 percent yield a year, he gets 80,000 dollars a year. This is on top of the asset appreciation, which is totally tax free.

      Such an individual is considered less rich than a biglaw associate making 200k with 300k in loans. Yet, such an individual is not only richer than the associate making 200k, but the junior partner making 400k and working 80 hours a week.

      The tax system is deliberately designed this way, and for good reason. I gave up my life so my child can live like a king. Most people do not want to make this sacrifice, and that’s why the tax code is organized in this way. It has to provide a reward for people like me to make the sacrifice I did so that there is sufficient capital infrastructure to maintain the society.

      Most people do not understand this. They think 200k salary! Wow, I’ll be rich. When they arrive here and are working 80 hours a week and can barely afford to eat out once and a while after taxes, rent and student loan payments, they get discouraged and burn out because they aren’t “happy” or “fulfilled.” They don’t have the correct mindset. They are servants. Servants serve. If you frame your mind accordingly, you can find meaning, and the next generation will be happy. For most people given the state of the global economy, this isn’t even an option.

    3. Thanks for agreeing. I didn't go into debt for law school, but I did expend $25,000 1988-1992 excluding books, learning aids and bar prep. And I still fork over $200 a year to keep the license. Yet it has produced nothing as far as income. If I had invested that $25,000 in Boeing stock instead of 'myself' that investment would be worth about $350,000 now. And I wouldn't have to keep paying annual tribute.