Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

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Renzo
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby Renzo » Tue May 18, 2010 4:53 pm

Billy Blanks wrote:. This argument sounds good, until you look at data from the National Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP): http://www.nalp.org/2009septnewassocsalaries. From 1996 to 2009 the median starting salaries of lawyers increased for lawyers at all levels; granted, growth over this time period was a less impressive 37% at the super-small (2-25) than it was at the huge firms (250+ with a median increase of 107%). Now, maybe there's something to be said for an increase in JDs undercutting the market in other ways, but from what I can tell there are more jobs for lawyers now than there were 14 years ago with an increase in median salary which outpaces inflation. Notwithstanding the legal crash, we seem to have more jobs AND higher pay.

It's impossible to make any meaningful statement predicated on talk about median starting salaries. No one is making a "median" starting salary; it's a statistical lie.

The fact of the matter is there are two job markets for lawyers, and you can't talk about them as if they were one. No one at Harvard really cares if more T4 schools open up, because graduates of those different types of schools are never going to compete with one another. Students at lower ranked schools should care a lot, because there are already not enough jobs to go around, and the jobs that do exist don't pay very much.

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romothesavior
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby romothesavior » Tue May 18, 2010 4:54 pm

lawdowne wrote:The number of law schools needs to be SLASHED. T2 and T3 schools should be turned into schools that train specialized paralegals much the same way that Physician Assistants are specialized nurses (overgeneralization I know but you get the point). Perhaps they should be called Laywer Assistants. Lawyer> Lawyer Assistant > Paralegal.


I like it. Nothing gets me hard like hierarchy and elevated status. :D

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Borhas
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby Borhas » Tue May 18, 2010 4:56 pm

The lesser the quality the legal professional out in the country due to their graduating from T2 and T3 schools, the more people are likely to continue to percieve lawyers as money grabbing, petty, (insert modern lawyer stereotype here), etc. People disperse into many different lines of work from undergrad so the correlation is less strong there.


lol at the idea that this perception is caused by T2 and T3 schools and not the corporate law puppy mill

rockstar4488
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby rockstar4488 » Tue May 18, 2010 4:59 pm

romothesavior wrote:
rockstar4488 wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
rockstar4488 wrote: I do not believe that JDs will similarly saturate.


Umm... WTF world are you living in? This happened decades ago.

40,000+ law graduates a year for 30,000 jobs (and it is probably even less than that). And the number of those jobs that pay well enough to make the investment worth it is very, very small.


...

~25% of folks 25 or over have a Bachelors Degree. Obviously this figure goes up and up.
~1% of folks have a JD. I doubt this has significantly changed in modern times.


That is an utterly irrelevant statistic. Who cares what the ratio of JDs to the American population is?

What matters is JDs : Jobs


In the long term, there's a correlation between the number of jobs and the size of the population. I think its a legitimate comparison when questioning whether JDs will have a saturation similar to Bachelors degrees.

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Borhas
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby Borhas » Tue May 18, 2010 5:01 pm

do any of you guys actually have any data that shows that there are the JD:jobs ratio has increased in the past 30 or so years?

rockstar4488
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby rockstar4488 » Tue May 18, 2010 5:02 pm

Borhas wrote:
The lesser the quality the legal professional out in the country due to their graduating from T2 and T3 schools, the more people are likely to continue to percieve lawyers as money grabbing, petty, (insert modern lawyer stereotype here), etc. People disperse into many different lines of work from undergrad so the correlation is less strong there.


lol at the idea that this perception is caused by T2 and T3 schools and not the corporate law puppy mill


Hilarious and dead-on.

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lawdowne
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby lawdowne » Tue May 18, 2010 5:08 pm

rockstar4488 wrote:
Borhas wrote:
The lesser the quality the legal professional out in the country due to their graduating from T2 and T3 schools, the more people are likely to continue to percieve lawyers as money grabbing, petty, (insert modern lawyer stereotype here), etc. People disperse into many different lines of work from undergrad so the correlation is less strong there.


lol at the idea that this perception is caused by T2 and T3 schools and not the corporate law puppy mill


Hilarious and dead-on.


Decent Point. Yet, I would argue that the ambulance chaser types i.e. personal injury lawyers etc. do signifcant damage to the integrity of the profession.

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romothesavior
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby romothesavior » Tue May 18, 2010 5:16 pm

Borhas wrote:do any of you guys actually have any data that shows that there are the JD:jobs ratio has increased in the past 30 or so years?


That 30,000 JDs : 40,000 Jobs number has been bantered about on TLS before, and I can't seem to find where it was cited from. I wanna say some student cited a CSO or something on that. And I'm pretty sure it was pre-ITE as well. I'll keep looking...

If you want a chart or a study by NALP or something, I don't think we can give you that. But considering the number of law schools has ballooned in the last few decades and has not slowed down with the market crash, it is a pretty logical conclusion to say that the number of jobs outpaces the number of graduates.

And finally, even if there was a job for every law student in the country, the number of jobs that would make the debtload reasonable are very few, especially for those at the bottom of the law school totem pole.

rockstar4488
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby rockstar4488 » Tue May 18, 2010 5:23 pm

I think there are reasons to go to law school other than to increase ones earning potential. I've got to bow out of this for the day.. heading home. I bet I can get a good figure for the number of jobs at work tomorrow, and hopefully, how it has changed over time. I'm a statistician for the Department of Commerce, so I can pretty much guarantee that there's someone in my building who does these numbers. I just have to find out who, and hope that he/she is willing and permitted to share the numbers with all of us.
Last edited by rockstar4488 on Tue May 18, 2010 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

d34d9823
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby d34d9823 » Tue May 18, 2010 5:23 pm

Image

Lol that I posted this right after the actual DoC guy.
Last edited by d34d9823 on Tue May 18, 2010 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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romothesavior
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby romothesavior » Tue May 18, 2010 5:24 pm

rockstar4488 wrote:I think there are reasons to go to law school other than to increase ones earning potential. I've got to bow out of this for the day.. heading home. I bet I can get a good figure for the number of jobs at work tomorrow, and hopefully, how it has changed over time. I'm a statistician for the Department of Commerce, so I can pretty much guarantee that there's someone in my building who does these numbers. I just have to find out who, and hope that he/she is willing and permitted to share the numbers with all of us.


That would be AWESOME and I'm sure TLS would really, really appreciate that information.

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Matthies
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby Matthies » Tue May 18, 2010 5:52 pm

law school is a professional school, most other professional schools medical, dentistry, ventrany and for most of its history law school prepared graduates to practice a profession, most often on their own or in small groups. Law changed (but only for a small minority of lawyers, the ABA says 70% of lawyers work for firms of 50 employees (not just lawyers) or less).

But today almost no one wants or is willing to do that, people go to law school wanting a corporate job, a secretary, and office and someone else who worries about all the particulars about running a law firm for them. Unfortunely that's still not how the majority of law is practiced. The basic fact is most kids go to law school thinking "biglaw" is the standard model, or that they can be a lawyer and not have run a business, its not. Its still primarily a business that servers law as its product. There are simply too many law students wanting an office job like an accountant than there are those jobs to be filled. There are still plenty of clients and cases out there, just not in the way people want to get them.

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romothesavior
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby romothesavior » Tue May 18, 2010 5:57 pm

Matthies wrote:law school is a professional school, most other professional schools medical, dentistry, ventrany and for most of its history law school prepared graduates to practice a profession, most often on their own or in small groups. Law changed (but only for a small minority of lawyers, the ABA says 70% of lawyers work for firms of 50 employees (not just lawyers) or less).

But today almost no one wants or is willing to do that, people go to law school wanting a corporate job, a secretary, and office and someone else who worries about all the particulars about running a law firm for them. Unfortunely that's still not how the majority of law is practiced. The basic fact is most kids go to law school thinking "biglaw" is the standard model, or that they can be a lawyer and not have run a business, its not. Its still primarily a business that servers law as its product. There are simply too many law students wanting an office job like an accountant than there are those jobs to be filled. There are still plenty of clients and cases out there, just not in the way people want to get them.


+1. I honestly would prefer to work in a small firm, or "hang my own shingle" or whatever. But for one thing, it is very hard to do. And for another thing, I have no idea how to go about doing it. I know how biglaw hiring works, and thanks to your awesome post about networking, I know how to network my way into midlaw. But I really know nothing about getting into small law and developing my own book of business and running a firm like a business. I'd say when the apprenticeship model of law died, so too did the ambition to do small law.

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Matthies
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby Matthies » Tue May 18, 2010 6:04 pm

romothesavior wrote:
Matthies wrote:law school is a professional school, most other professional schools medical, dentistry, ventrany and for most of its history law school prepared graduates to practice a profession, most often on their own or in small groups. Law changed (but only for a small minority of lawyers, the ABA says 70% of lawyers work for firms of 50 employees (not just lawyers) or less).

But today almost no one wants or is willing to do that, people go to law school wanting a corporate job, a secretary, and office and someone else who worries about all the particulars about running a law firm for them. Unfortunely that's still not how the majority of law is practiced. The basic fact is most kids go to law school thinking "biglaw" is the standard model, or that they can be a lawyer and not have run a business, its not. Its still primarily a business that servers law as its product. There are simply too many law students wanting an office job like an accountant than there are those jobs to be filled. There are still plenty of clients and cases out there, just not in the way people want to get them.


+1. I honestly would prefer to work in a small firm, or "hang my own shingle" or whatever. But for one thing, it is very hard to do. And for another thing, I have no idea how to go about doing it. I know how biglaw hiring works, and thanks to your awesome post about networking, I know how to network my way into midlaw. But I really know nothing about getting into small law and developing my own book of business and running a firm like a business. I'd say when the apprenticeship model of law died, so too did the ambition to do small law.


I agree with this, and law schools do a piss poor job of teaching students the skills they need to end up on their own (even though they know many of their grads will). The 3rd year of lS is useless and all law schools, at every level, and all law students, would be better served if that entire year was some type of mandatory internship where you learned the skills need to practice, made contacts in the legal community you could turn to for advice, mentoring, help and give you at least basic skills like how to file a complaint, how to draft motions, how to find clients and other skills that would at the least make yourself useful to a firm as soon as you start.

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johnstuartmill
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby johnstuartmill » Tue May 18, 2010 6:40 pm

Wrong thread -- fuck me.

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby Mr. Matlock » Tue May 18, 2010 6:45 pm

Matthies wrote:law school is a professional school, most other professional schools medical, dentistry, ventrany and for most of its history law school prepared graduates to practice a profession, most often on their own or in small groups. Law changed (but only for a small minority of lawyers, the ABA says 70% of lawyers work for firms of 50 employees (not just lawyers) or less).

But today almost no one wants or is willing to do that, people go to law school wanting a corporate job, a secretary, and office and someone else who worries about all the particulars about running a law firm for them. Unfortunely that's still not how the majority of law is practiced. The basic fact is most kids go to law school thinking "biglaw" is the standard model, or that they can be a lawyer and not have run a business, its not. Its still primarily a business that servers law as its product. There are simply too many law students wanting an office job like an accountant than there are those jobs to be filled. There are still plenty of clients and cases out there, just not in the way people want to get them.

Great post... as per usual Matties! :mrgreen:

Question: In your opinion, what kind of a negative impact has on-line services, such as Legal Zoom, had on the "shingle hanging" crowd?

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Matthies
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Re: Can someone explain the argument against more schools/1Ls?

Postby Matthies » Tue May 18, 2010 7:21 pm

Mr. Matlock wrote:
Matthies wrote:law school is a professional school, most other professional schools medical, dentistry, ventrany and for most of its history law school prepared graduates to practice a profession, most often on their own or in small groups. Law changed (but only for a small minority of lawyers, the ABA says 70% of lawyers work for firms of 50 employees (not just lawyers) or less).

But today almost no one wants or is willing to do that, people go to law school wanting a corporate job, a secretary, and office and someone else who worries about all the particulars about running a law firm for them. Unfortunely that's still not how the majority of law is practiced. The basic fact is most kids go to law school thinking "biglaw" is the standard model, or that they can be a lawyer and not have run a business, its not. Its still primarily a business that servers law as its product. There are simply too many law students wanting an office job like an accountant than there are those jobs to be filled. There are still plenty of clients and cases out there, just not in the way people want to get them.

Great post... as per usual Matties! :mrgreen:

Question: In your opinion, what kind of a negative impact has on-line services, such as Legal Zoom, had on the "shingle hanging" crowd?


You know I don't know, legal zoom is not something I've discussed with my lawyers friends. But there is a trend towards "online" law firms, or firms that do allot of business online, or over webcams, ect. I'm helping a few lawyer add this to thier practice now, allowing current clients to access their files in real time, electronically sign things, see their bills, see the lawyers notes, even a chat room to post questions. They can access 24/7.

One of the biggest things that gets to clients is when they hire a lawyer your are their ONLY lawyer, they don't consider that lawyer has other clients. So one of the most common complaints is "my lawyer never calls me back/or i don't know what's going on with my case" online systems allow clients to check on things on their own, without the lawyer having to return 10 phone calls at the end of the day just to update their clients on basic things like X was filed today, or whatever. Plus you can now have access to clients out of town, but still in your state. You don't need to drive to Denver from Vail to write up a will or estate plan if you can do it over video chat and with online forms.

I think there is some serious money to be made in setting things like this up for lawyers by other lawyers with tech skills. Allot of lawyers data is confidential so they don't really want a geek squad guy messing around in their computer. When i was doing clerking for firms in law school I could get 25-30 an hour as a law clerk, but for law releated tech support and set up systems people ahve been falling over themslves to pay me $75+ an hour. In a few days when i'm licnsed I bet i could get alot more than that since I will be under confidentaillty. And there are like NO SET UP COSTS, i can do this shit from my desktop at home, and still clerk, and I can bill for EVERY HOUR. So in eight hours of legal tech support i bill eght hours, where leagal work I might be lucky to bill 2-3 in an 8 hour day. Plus ehtical ruls say you can't bill two cleints for the samwe time, so say I had two cleints in Vail I had meetings with, I could not bill both of them for the drive up there, I could bill half to each, but that's it. But etch support, if I devlope a spreadsheet conflict checker for 5 lawyers in one hour, then each gets billed $100 for 1 hour = $500. Then once I have it devloped I can sell it o other alwyers.




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