Samara wrote:Not to get too distracted from the original point of the thread, but the economic outlook is not as dire as you paint it. Unemployment is actually holding steady, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm, the Case-Shiller index shows the housing market to be stabilized, http://seekingalpha.com/article/277020- ... ice-trends, real estate should be able to start growing by sometime next year when the glut of foreclosures are finally unloaded, consumer debt as a share of household income is at its lowest point since 1994, http://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/housedebt/, and corporate profits are at a all-time high, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/2 ... 40538.html. We aren't going to be back to "normal" tomorrow, but the next 2-3 years should see decent to strong job growth, closing this unemployment gap.
OK. BLS says unemployment holding steady. BLS is notorious for understating unemployment, and they don't factor in the fact that the real growth in the job market over the last two years has been in Wal-Mart and McDonald's. Plus you're basing your opinion on historical data without taking the effort to forecast while adjusting for known factors. Our deficit and national debt is out of control. Consumer spending is stagnant. 70% of the economy is still consumer spending so how do we grow and create new jobs if people are trying to save? Government spending is unsustainable at these levels as well and can't be compensated for with growth in GDP, which the fed expects to be around a modest 3% next year. So either gov't spending will have to fall, which reduces jobs (look at all the hiring freezes in place at DOJ, prosecutor's offices, etc), or taxes will increase which again will reduce jobs. How do we get job growth in "GOOD" jobs while fighting inflation and record deficits? Something has to give. The only way BLS can say the job market is, statistically speaking, in good shape, is if there numbers stop factoring those who are to discouraged to seek work and permanently displaced from the work force (which they do do actually). "Holding steady" at 9% is nothing to be proud of anyway, considering that that suggests a systemically flawed and inefficient economy.
The housing market is stabilized at post-crash levels, sure. Did the housing market recover? No. I will respectfully file your opinion that it will recover next year along with the opinions of everyone else who said it would have recovered by now over the last few years: in the trash can.
Samara wrote:Haha, no doubt certain people I know should probably have reconsidered law school, but I have two points to make. One, those who don't have legal field employment now may still get it in the future as the economy recovers. Yes, it's going to put them in a difficult situation until they do, but I don't think (hopefully) that's it's a lost cause. Secondly, when you compare the people I know who have succeeded and the people who haven't, the ones who did get legal field employment came into law school with strong job prospects. The ones who didn't get legal field employment went to law school because, as you mentioned, they felt like they didn't have anything else to do. Should the ones with the strong career connections not have gone to IU-Indy? My point is that plenty of people can succeed there and we shouldn't discourage those people.
See my note above re: striking out in your first year. If you didn't get the job your first year after graduating, what makes you think those people will do so swell next year, when they are competing against not only their class, but also a fresh perky class of newly minted JD's, and a new batch of top 10%'s that will be consistently given preferential treatment among an increasing surplus of lawyers and deficit of jobs?
Also, even when the economy recovers (which it will, but not soon), what about systemic and permanent changes in the legal field? Companies are increasing the hiring of contract attorneys substantially, some of those doc review jobs outsourced to India. Software is now completing functions like discovery. Less lawyers will be needed in an age of automation, globalization and an increasing amount of workers willing to take low-paying temp jobs with no benefits who can be discharged at will. The supply demand curve has shifted down, price has gone down, and the effects of automation and an increasing preference for temps will be permanent notwithstanding economic changes.
PEOPLE SHOULD BE DISCOURAGED FROM ATTENDING LAW SCHOOL. Let me be clear. The world needs lawyers, and those who truly believe that their tastes, opportunities and abilities lend themselves most to a fruitful career in law should pursue that. But the world doesn't need anywhere near the amount of lawyers being produced now. And many of the people going to law school are doing so without being fully aware of the reality that awaits them, because material information in their decision making process is being materially misrepresented in their self-reported employment data. For every TWO people that are planning to go to law school, TWO believe that they will make a great career for themselves, but ONE OF THOSE TWO IS WRONG.
If you have the numbers of blehGPAgoodLSAT and prior WE, you can make it work (though you should prob not rely so much on o self-reported data that has been obscured and gamed). You are also the exception not the rule and should not assume that your opportunities are reflective of the population of law school applicants taken as a whole.