vanwinkle wrote:ThomasMN wrote:If ten years down the line you are still making the same salary as when you came out of law school, then you must have been a fairly unsuccessful lawyer. Between inflation and work experience you should be making quite a bit more at the ten year mark then you were at year one.
The majority of people who go into BigLaw are making less ten years out of law school than they did their first year out. Does this make them "unsuccessful"? Yes, but that level of success is hard to attain, so there are quite a few "fairly unsuccessful" lawyers out there.
It's rare, in this economic climate, to be able to get into a decent-salary job and then get that salary to steadily increase. Layoffs, wage stagnation, and hiring/promotion freezes have hit the legal sector as hard, if not harder, than the rest of the economy. Not only that, the law often has a "once you're out, you're out" mentality. If you don't get a $160K/yr job when you graduate, it's not like you can work your way up to one of those jobs. And the public sector, which so many have regarded as some sort of backup, is starting to face layoffs and wage cuts as well. Even the DOJ is getting its budget cut this year.
There are a LOT of people in law school today who will make "unsuccessful lawyers", if you define success by substantial wage growth over 10 years.
Yes, but the fact is that the economic climate in ten years for people graduating from LS right now, who are in LS, and for those who are planning to begin net fall is going to be a lot different. If we suffer another major recession, or we continue to sit at this level of unemployment, then we ( we as in American society ) are going to have to worry about a lot more than T-14 graduates heavy debt load.
Again, they don't need to make substantial real wage growth to help finance their debts, simply wage growth in comparison to the principal of their loan. Again, if that doesn't happen we have a lot more to worry about than LS debt.
However, to be honest, there are a lot of people in the job market across multiple job fields that are getting skewered due to legacy beliefs about employment. One would hope that some of the people working in hiring could come to grips with the fact that a lot of people are out of work at the moment due to no fault of their own.
Salary growth across ten years is certainly not the only way to label success, but if you freely make the choice to go to law school and go into a large amount of debt that seems to somewhat hang over the head of the buyer. We can certainly gnash teeth and beat desks over ttt schools advertising extremely misleading jobs figures, but it seems a little off base to go after T-14 schools for not seeing the events of 2008 unfolding as they would. At the same time that doesn't excuse them for some of their practices at the moment. Regardless, it seems to me that a lot of people really don't like the reality of a route to big law. A lot of associates basically get used and abused. I am not looking to work for a NLJ250 or anything along those lines, but I do aim to get my law degree from the best school at the best cost. For all the misleading statistics that come from law schools, the one thing that they will tell you up front is how much they charge. You need to balance your liabilities against hopeful future prospects. If law schools purports to attract so many intelligent individuals, why do so many make extremely bad financial decisions?
Personally, I wish we made higher education free / extremely cheap as it is in places like Germany. I am very biased in this regard ( I am a German ).