Law = shelter from the storm.

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agentzer0
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby agentzer0 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:03 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
agentzer0 wrote:This is flawed:

vanwinkle wrote:
agentzer0 wrote:Since law school is 3 years

You do have to find something to do for your summers though, since 1) a lack of summer employment is a huge glaring mistake on your resume and 2) it's during the summer employments that you get your best chance to network and make connections for finding work once you graduate.

I'm assuming a general economic recovery. If that recovery happens, firms/employers will be increasing hiring numbers. As this happens there will be more post-graduate positions available than there were summer-gigs the previous years... If employers are increasing hiring numbers across the board (my assumption) and are hiring more graduates than there were summer-gigs for those graduates while they were in school they cannot penalize everyone who didn't do something over the summer, the math wouldn't work.

I love how you call my statement flawed and then attempt to use several flawed assumptions to disprove it.

Even if hiring does pick up, there have been more than 20,000 lawyers laid off in the last year, and many of those are attempting to grab up whatever jobs they can. Until those lawyers get reabsorbed there's going to continue to be a surplus of experienced lawyers available to soak up jobs as they open up. A recovery is a long-term thing and it is incredibly naive to assume that it will happen so rapidly that the job market will spontaneously and dramatically improve from this year to the next when many of you are 1Ls.

You're also ignoring the number of deferred associates hired out of last summer's graduating class. Those people have jobs lined up, but their start date was deferred to this summer or even in some cases next summer; that means that even if an economic recovery occurs and hiring can pick up again, those employers have a supply of new associates coming in already without having to hire from this summer's graduating class at all. The only way for this to not be an issue is if law firms uniformly start needing both all the associates they deferred last year and the folks graduating this summer and looking for work. That would essentially have us going from zero hiring to double the historical amount of hiring in a single year, and that's more than just a recovery, that's a recovery plus unprecedented growth in the legal market all within the span of a single year. This is in no way realistic at all.

You're right, if there was more hiring than available lawyers the math wouldn't work. However, it will be years before the math makes things an employee's market once more, and in the meantime law firms and public service employers alike are free to discriminate against those who don't have summer employment on their resume.


Lots of good stuff in here, you're absolutely right about the back-log, etc. etc tl;dr the legal job market is a rough environment right now and will be for some time.

But so is the non-legal job market; in fact, it's probably worse. So, assuming that that the legal log-jam eventually does clear up, if you want a JD why not get it now when you're probably not giving up much to go to school?

As far as your time scale for an employment recovery... the last 60 years of employment data suggest that 3 years seems like a very reasonable estimate:

go to http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyO ... NS14000000

and graph unemployment from 1948 through today

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vanwinkle
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:09 pm

agentzer0 wrote:Lots of good stuff in here, you're absolutely right about the back-log, etc. etc tl;dr the legal job market is a rough environment right now and will be for some time.

But so is the non-legal job market; in fact, it's probably worse. So, assuming that that the legal log-jam eventually does clear up, if you want a JD why not get it now when you're probably not giving up much to go to school?

As far as your time scale for an employment recovery... the last 60 years of employment data suggest that 3 years seems like a very reasonable estimate:

go to http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyO ... NS14000000

and graph unemployment from 1948 through today

First of all, I'm not going to say that going to law school ITE is absolutely a bad idea. After all, I'm in law school right now; I'm a 1L and was fully aware of the condition of the economy when I started last fall. However, I also did it being fully aware of the severe risks involved and what I am advocating is that others do the same.

Unfortunately the recession we're in now is unlike anything that's happened since 1948. Parallels keep being drawn to 1929-1940, and while things are not that bad yet, I have seen some startling numbers. The unemployment rate that's published in this country for the general population is artificially low, as it assumes that those who have stopped receiving unemployment are no longer unemployed, even though for many the benefits simply ran out. It also assumes that part-time employment is being fully employed, so many people are not being counted as unemployed because they've found a basic 20-hour minimum wage job which is not enough for them to live off of. They've changed the way they do unemployment measurements in recent years for exactly this reason, to soften the numbers and make things look less bad than they are. Currently the actual unemployment/underemployment rate is estimated to be something like 16% of the workforce.

Also, as I keep pointing out, you're not escaping things for 3 years because you're going to have to start looking for your first summer employment within a few months of starting law school. The economy is not going to radically improve in a year, and that's going to seriously negatively impact your ability to find summer employment. I'm at a top-10 law school and have respectable grades and I'm struggling to find summer employment right now. It's not going to get magically better in one year.

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Panther7
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby Panther7 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:12 pm

SteelReserve wrote:Man, going to law school as a form of economic shelter is easily one of the worst, if not the worst, reason to go to school. So many people hate law school and working in the law, including people who truly thought they wanted to be lawyers . You will end up working your ass off in law school, then you get to suffer through the bar exam (which also will of course limit the rest of your life to a certain state). Lawyers don't just move around, you find a state and you spend your life there. It can take years to become fluent in a state's procedural rules.

So now because you had a tough time sending your resumes out on Monster like everyone else during the Great Recession, you now get to sit on thousands in debt, having an equally difficult time searching for a job, after working your ass off for 3 years and no money, and if you are lucky enough to get a job, it may be doing something you hate. And then because you have the JD and you're 3 years older, you have approximately a 0% chance of switching careers and you are locked for life into the state that you (hopefully) got a job in. Oh, and that job may start around 40k.


Yes and no.

Let's put this in perspective. I'm not a stupid guy. I got a 166 on the LSAT, have a college degree, and consider myself to be a good worker (my bosses have all thought highly of me, and gone out of their way to say so). I just filed my taxes, I made 9.5k my first year out of school (grad in dec 08), working for 4 different employers (3 were temp, 1 I quit due to a better offer). I have a job now that runs through April 30th, at which point I'm stuck looking for a job again. It sucks. As bad as the law market is, it's no better anywhere else for us non-ivy people without amazing grades and honors and awards. I concede the law market is as bad as anywhere else, but as someone told me the other day "It's not like it's better anywhere else." I think this forum is full of a bunch of college students screaming doomsday without realizing that it's doomsday everywhere in the workforce.

Sure, bumping up my loan payments from 200 dollars to 1000 dollars a month is a big deal, but you can't convince me that it's not a worthy investment. Even if the economy were to stay the same for 3 years (it's bound to get slightly better over that time, but for a second let's pretend it sucks equally), I feel I'm much better situated to find a job that pays more than 19.1k with a JD than having to go through the shit I'm going through now just to make little bits of money. That degree makes you much more marketable, especially for someone like me who really doesn't have a "wow factor" on my resume. I need that distinction that a serious graduate degree brings.

Is law simply a shelter for me? no. Did the economy push up my plans on going back to school? absolutely, I probably would have waited another year or two to distance myself from my GPA before returning otherwise. That doesn't, however, make me some desperado who doesn't understand what I'm getting myself into, as many seem here to think.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:14 pm

Panther7 wrote:Is law simply a shelter for me? no.

That's a good thing. However, many people here are looking at using law as a shelter, hence the thread title, "Law = shelter from the storm." That's what people are responding to here, you shouldn't be personally offended that people assume that about you when you post in a thread with a title like that just to tell OP he's "not alone".

Esc
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby Esc » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:17 pm

Everything Vanwinkle has said is TCR.

You have to start searching for competitive summer employment less than 4 months after you start classes.

You interview at the beginning of your second year for what is essentially your only chance at a job that will allow you to repay your loans without the use of a loan forgiveness program.

Law school is not a haven. There are a lot of 2Ls and 3Ls at my school right now who have been drifting aimlessly since 2L OCI, and are facing graduation with no employment prospects.

I don't think anyone should go to LS right now unless they are getting full scholarship to a T20 or paying sticker at HYS, AND they have good reason to believe they will really enjoy the study and practice of law.

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The Zeppelin
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby The Zeppelin » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:18 pm

So let's do the math...

3 yrs lost wages + law school tuition = protection from the economy

Terrible idea unless you really want to be lawyer.

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agentzer0
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby agentzer0 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:18 pm

vanwinkle wrote: First of all, I'm not going to say that going to law school ITE is absolutely a bad idea. After all, I'm in law school right now; I'm a 1L and was fully aware of the condition of the economy when I started last fall. However, I also did it being fully aware of the severe risks involved and what I am advocating is that others do the same.


in total agreement

vanwinkle wrote: Unfortunately the recession we're in now is unlike anything that's happened since 1948. Parallels keep being drawn to 1929-1940, and while things are not that bad yet, I have seen some startling numbers. The unemployment rate that's published in this country for the general population is artificially low, as it assumes that those who have stopped receiving unemployment are no longer unemployed, even though for many the benefits simply ran out. It also assumes that part-time employment is being fully employed, so many people are not being counted as unemployed because they've found a basic 20-hour minimum wage job which is not enough for them to live off of. They've changed the way they do unemployment measurements in recent years for exactly this reason, to soften the numbers and make things look less bad than they are. Currently the actual unemployment/underemployment rate is estimated to be something like 16% of the workforce.


dubious; we didn't get close to the great depression and we've already bottomed, it's up from here.

vanwinkle wrote:Also, as I keep pointing out, you're not escaping things for 3 years because you're going to have to start looking for your first summer employment within a few months of starting law school. The economy is not going to radically improve in a year, and that's going to seriously negatively impact your ability to find summer employment. I'm at a top-10 law school and have respectable grades and I'm struggling to find summer employment right now. It's not going to get magically better in one year.


You can always be a RA right? I know it's not ideal I'm just saying... also I know your situation; I read your primer on 1L job hunt. Don't despair, I'm confident something will come through for you. For everyone else, vanwinkle's right; proceed with caution. I'm just saying LS might still be a good call.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby vanwinkle » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:19 pm

agentzer0 wrote:I know your situation; I read your primer on 1L job hunt. Don't despair, I'm confident something will come through for you. For everyone else, vanwinkle's right; proceed with caution. I'm just saying LS might still be a good call.

It sounds like we agree a lot more than we disagree at this point, so I'll leave it at that. I just want people to know that law school is no safe haven at all ITE.

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The Zeppelin
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby The Zeppelin » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:22 pm

agentzer0 wrote:dubious; we didn't get close to the great depression and we've already bottomed, it's up from here.

Perhaps. Always the chance that our currency will crash. Then we'll be in serious shit.

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Panther7
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby Panther7 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:23 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
Panther7 wrote:Is law simply a shelter for me? no.

That's a good thing. However, many people here are looking at using law as a shelter, hence the thread title, "Law = shelter from the storm." That's what people are responding to here, you shouldn't be personally offended that people assume that about you when you post in a thread with a title like that just to tell OP he's "not alone".



Well, he's talking about planning paths to law. I didn't plan a path to law. To be honest, Law was barely on my radar a year ago. It was a decision prompted by the economy for me (and I would classify myself as a "shelter"). However, just because I made the decision to attend doesn't mean I'm unaware of the consequences. I wanted to go back to school, and law is just the best fit for me.

If I wanted to simply shelter the economy, I'd join the military for sure.
Last edited by Panther7 on Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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lolwut
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Re: Law = shelter from the storm.

Postby lolwut » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:36 pm

Well I can't say I didn't expect consideral backlash for revealing the economic-condition catalyst leading me to law.

It's still good to read some of these responses though... most everyone seems to have a realistic view of how challenging it is out there and regardless of how well planned or thought out the entry into law school is, it still involves a considerable amount of risk.

I suppose if you secured a full scholarship to a top-14 school there wouldn't be much risk involved there, but there would still be a 3 year investment of time which is still a considerable opportunity cost. (laughing at how weak that notion is given the current levels of "opportunity")

Anyways, we're all hoping we start seeing some sustainable growth in the economy and any future prospects we might have rely on it. It's a considerable risk for me, but I'm at least excited by it.... excited to learn, study, get back into a competitive collegial atmosphere, and more. At the very least, after 3 years, I have to think (even if economic conditions remain relatively stagnant) a JD would allow far more options than I have now with an almost worthless BS from a big state school.




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