A. Nony Mouse wrote:But twenty, my point is that it is harder to get those jobs with a JD than without a JD, because there are non-JDs with relevant non-JD experience, and what incentive would an employer have to hire a JD instead of one of them?
Sure, but at this point we're talking about two different things. I'm operating from the presumption that this hypothetical JD graduate can't get in a time machine, go back five years and decide to not go to law school.
It's easy enough to make a broad claim like "oh, well, there will be other people that have actual experience applying for these jobs" - and that may be true, but it's certainly not universally true to the extent that a JD grad will get blocked by people with actual experience. A JD grad has a material advantage over a 22-year old college graduate who's applying for the same job. A JD grad will probably lose out to a 22-year old GED holder that has disabled veteran's preference. Apples to apples, the JD helps people applying to non-legal government jobs.
Having a JD says to an employer "I want to be a lawyer." You, the unemployed JD, may not actually feel that way (either from choice or necessity), but how you feel about it doesn't mean much if that's what seeing the JD says to employers. In a non-law setting, a JD looks out of the ordinary/weird, and many employers don't want anything to do with weird. Yes, I think in many non-legal settings having a JD is going to put you at a disadvantage over people who don't have them.
Like I've said in basically every post I've made on this thread
I'm exclusively talking about PSLF-eligible government positions. You're straight up ignoring me when I tell you that "employers" here are "hiring authorities" that are given a scorecard, to which is factored in an advanced degree. If that person's advanced degree puts them higher up on the merit list, it does not matter what the person thinks.
You asked if that was the same for state hiring authorities, and I told you yes, it was. The only thing having a JD says to a potential government employer is "circle the Y on the line that says "Advanced Degree: Y/N." You don't need to re-tool your career path, and you don't need to make up a lot of excuses for yourself in an interview.
When I say things like "it's harder to get some jobs *with* a JD than *without* a JD" (which I do think is correct), that's not to discourage people with JDs from applying for non-law jobs - it's for 0Ls (or those advising them) to stop repeating the same damn tired "but a JD is VERSATILE, it opens the door for LOTS of jobs" rhetoric.
And even when talking to the JDs looking for non-law jobs, saying "it's harder with a JD" isn't meant to make people think "what else am I going to do because no one wants to hire overqualified JDs, I guess I have to stick with law." The point is to make sure people understand that a JD sticks out and looks weird, so they can be proactive and figure out ways to overcome that. Someone applying for these other jobs with the mindset that a JD is helpful/attractive/gets them somewhere outside of law is not likely to have much success.
For the record, I completely agree with pushing back on the "but my uncle said a JD was really versatile" nonsense, but I've also (recently) seen this extended to borderline absurdity against law grads.
Yeah, having a JD is probably going to screw you up if you're trying to get into a lot of private sector/non-profit non-legal spots. Just because it's true in a lot of cases doesn't mean it's true in all of them.
Anyone who's thinking they should go to law school because of the degree's versatility, though, needs to be taken out back and spanked.
Come on. If you meant "it's the only way a JD would be able to qualify by education," that's fine, but again, there are a lot of non-JDs out there who could qualify, too.)
My bad, I was running out the door and not typing out my thoughts very well.
I meant to say that people with just their bachelor's degrees wouldn't be able to post for this job.