Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

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Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby dkb17xzx » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:47 am

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... NewsSecond

Members of the law-school class of 2011 had little better than a 50-50 shot of landing a job as a lawyer within nine months of receiving a degree...

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby dingbat » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:53 am

So what else is new?

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby dingbat » Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:56 am

I wish newspapers would stop talking as if the entire class of JD grads are the same.
50-50 chance? At top schools it's closer to 90% while there are TTTs that have trouble placing a third of their grads

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby acrossthelake » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:11 am

dingbat wrote:I wish newspapers would stop talking as if the entire class of JD grads are the same.
50-50 chance? At top schools it's closer to 90% while there are TTTs that have trouble placing a third of their grads


They do point that out. It's not an eye-catching headline though "Students at top schools place well; students at bottom schools don't". Better to point out the general dismal numbers. Besides, the numbers at top schools is still fairly weak relative to what you'd expect.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby dkb17xzx » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:11 am

dingbat wrote:I wish newspapers would stop talking as if the entire class of JD grads are the same.
50-50 chance? At top schools it's closer to 90% while there are TTTs that have trouble placing a third of their grads



They actually do:

The 2011 data reinforce the notion in the industry that students from the top 14 U.S. law schools have little trouble finding work. The top-ranked schools sent graduates into long-term legal jobs in high numbers, but 87 lower-tier schools had placement rates of 50% or less.



What I don't like is the deans avoiding the fact that their schools are s*** - talking about long-term value, blah blah blah - w/o ever mentioning how the students pay back upwards of $120K in loans.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby dingbat » Mon Jun 25, 2012 1:13 am

that's what I get for only reading the headline.
After the number of articles on the subject, I kinda stopped reading

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby ConcernedHabsFan » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:00 pm

A friend of mine who's a highly successful lawyer (aviation law) clipped this article from his Wall Street Journal Monday for me to read, since I've discussed job prospects with him before. I've talked to him about whether I should try for law school or stay in my post-bachelor finance program.

50/50 sounds like decent odds. What are the odds of liberal arts majors from Top 40 global schools landing a job right after graduation, not involving making coffee or waiting tables? 10%? 15%? It seems like right now unless you're extremely connected, it's rough finding work. For liberal arts majors, graduates in R&D, marketing.

Anyways, this Lawyer went to Duke Law. I told him unless I scored super high on the LSAT I probably wouldn't even get a glance from Tier I law schools. He told me "If you don't go into a Tier I, you have to get on law review, and make sure you score in the top of your class." He made his point clear to me that most law students who score below the top 15% of their class were not hardworking enough. Just thought I'd share his perspective.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:25 pm

I like the massive chart.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby Nova » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:32 pm

ConcernedHabsFan wrote: He made his point clear to me that most law students who score below the top 15% of their class were not hardworking enough. Just thought I'd share his perspective.


Two words: mandatory curve.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby prezidentv8 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:42 pm

ConcernedHabsFan wrote:50/50 sounds like decent odds. What are the odds of liberal arts majors from Top 40 global schools landing a job right after graduation, not involving making coffee or waiting tables? 10%? 15%? It seems like right now unless you're extremely connected, it's rough finding work. For liberal arts majors, graduates in R&D, marketing.


Debt(Law) >>> Debt (UG)

This matters quite a bit in most cases.



ConcernedHabsFan wrote:Anyways, this Lawyer went to Duke Law. I told him unless I scored super high on the LSAT I probably wouldn't even get a glance from Tier I law schools. He told me "If you don't go into a Tier I, you have to get on law review, and make sure you score in the top of your class." He made his point clear to me that most law students who score below the top 15% of their class were not hardworking enough. Just thought I'd share his perspective.


I'll leave this part to everyone else.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby ConcernedHabsFan » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:01 pm

Debt(Law) >>> Debt (UG)

This matters quite a bit in most cases.

I'm not American, so I'm unsure of this as I didn't get my undergrad in the US (though I plan to go to law school there). My tuition was affordable, most of my friends easily paid tuition if they worked through summer and part-time some of the year.
But, aren't a lot of American private colleges the same cost for undergrad as Universities for law schools? My cousin goes to Willimaette, I think she pays over $30,000 a year in tuition, close to $50,000 including living expenses. And I've never even heard of that school before. Another friend of mine goes to Rice University, he pays $34,900 a year in tuition. Which is just a bit less than a lot of private law schools I've looked at.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:07 pm

Dat 8.5% interest.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby prezidentv8 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:12 pm

ConcernedHabsFan wrote:
Debt(Law) >>> Debt (UG)

This matters quite a bit in most cases.

I'm not American, so I'm unsure of this as I didn't get my undergrad in the US (though I plan to go to law school there). My tuition was affordable, most of my friends easily paid tuition if they worked through summer and part-time some of the year.
But, aren't a lot of American private colleges the same cost for undergrad as Universities for law schools? My cousin goes to Willimaette, I think she pays over $30,000 a year in tuition, close to $50,000 including living expenses. And I've never even heard of that school before. Another friend of mine goes to Rice University, he pays $34,900 a year in tuition. Which is just a bit less than a lot of private law schools I've looked at.


Yeah, UG can often be expensive, especially at private universities, but keep in mind that the category of JD graduates is a subset of those with a bachelor's degree, and that the average debt numbers for JD are generally much, much higher. If you can go to law school for free and can't otherwise get a job, then it's a bit of a different situation, but I think for most people the law debt is quite a big problem.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby AllTheLawz » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:13 pm

ConcernedHabsFan wrote:A friend of mine who's a highly successful lawyer (aviation law) clipped this article from his Wall Street Journal Monday for me to read, since I've discussed job prospects with him before. I've talked to him about whether I should try for law school or stay in my post-bachelor finance program.

50/50 sounds like decent odds. What are the odds of liberal arts majors from Top 40 global schools landing a job right after graduation, not involving making coffee or waiting tables? 10%? 15%? It seems like right now unless you're extremely connected, it's rough finding work. For liberal arts majors, graduates in R&D, marketing.

Anyways, this Lawyer went to Duke Law. I told him unless I scored super high on the LSAT I probably wouldn't even get a glance from Tier I law schools. He told me "If you don't go into a Tier I, you have to get on law review, and make sure you score in the top of your class." He made his point clear to me that most law students who score below the top 15% of their class were not hardworking enough. Just thought I'd share his perspective.


Clarify.. most law students in general.. or most that go to schools below Tier 1..

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby fatduck » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:15 pm

Nova wrote:
ConcernedHabsFan wrote: He made his point clear to me that most law students who score below the top 15% of their class were not hardworking enough. Just thought I'd share his perspective.


Two words: mandatory curve.

nah, man, if people just worked harder, everyone would be in the top 15%!

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby dkb17xzx » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:17 pm

AllTheLawz wrote:
ConcernedHabsFan wrote:A friend of mine who's a highly successful lawyer (aviation law) clipped this article from his Wall Street Journal Monday for me to read, since I've discussed job prospects with him before. I've talked to him about whether I should try for law school or stay in my post-bachelor finance program.

50/50 sounds like decent odds. What are the odds of liberal arts majors from Top 40 global schools landing a job right after graduation, not involving making coffee or waiting tables? 10%? 15%? It seems like right now unless you're extremely connected, it's rough finding work. For liberal arts majors, graduates in R&D, marketing.

Anyways, this Lawyer went to Duke Law. I told him unless I scored super high on the LSAT I probably wouldn't even get a glance from Tier I law schools. He told me "If you don't go into a Tier I, you have to get on law review, and make sure you score in the top of your class." He made his point clear to me that most law students who score below the top 15% of their class were not hardworking enough. Just thought I'd share his perspective.


Clarify.. most law students in general.. or most that go to schools below Tier 1..


At some point hard work too goes out, doesn't it? 85% will not be in the top 15% - a bad break and you are done

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby cinephile » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:21 pm

ConcernedHabsFan wrote:
Debt(Law) >>> Debt (UG)

This matters quite a bit in most cases.

I'm not American, so I'm unsure of this as I didn't get my undergrad in the US (though I plan to go to law school there). My tuition was affordable, most of my friends easily paid tuition if they worked through summer and part-time some of the year.
But, aren't a lot of American private colleges the same cost for undergrad as Universities for law schools? My cousin goes to Willimaette, I think she pays over $30,000 a year in tuition, close to $50,000 including living expenses. And I've never even heard of that school before. Another friend of mine goes to Rice University, he pays $34,900 a year in tuition. Which is just a bit less than a lot of private law schools I've looked at.


I think one factor is that many undergraduate institutions have legitimate scholarships funded by their endowments. Whereas law schools don't quite have the same kinds of scholarships, instead they have cross-subsidized tuition, based entirely on test scores without taking need into account (except for a few select schools). Also don't forget that parents tend to pitch in for undergrad more than law school.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby ConcernedHabsFan » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:42 pm

Clarify.. most law students in general.. or most that go to schools below Tier 1..


At some point hard work too goes out, doesn't it? 85% will not be in the top 15% - a bad break and you are done


Well, I was playing tennis with him so I didn't inquire into great detail. But he said he went to Duke Law so he was speaking to his experience there. He said he was one of the top students, and felt he prepared and spent a lot more time preparing for exams and papers than his peers. Thus resulting in his high scores.

I brought up how in my undergraduate experience, it was tough to consistently get high scores in my department on term papers (due to only a few A's being given out to over 100 students sometimes, and that the students who got those A's tended to be brilliant, and very hardworking). And that was why I was in a Finance program now, because the academic experience was different both in a good and bad way.

He said when he was in law school, that there were a good amount of students who would only spend the expected average amount of time on preparation for exams, then go out to a bar, or hangout at the pub (to be fair, I was one of the "get this done and hit the bar" type of guys in undergrad). Whereas he made sure that he would spend more time preparing than all the other students, especially for exams.

Anyways, that was his perspective to me. I know quite a few lawyers, he's by far the most successful financially, and experienced out of the ones I've talked to. He's a super successful guy professionally, so I'm not really surprised that he was super successful academically.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby Joeshan520 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:59 pm

The straw mans never cease to amaze me in articles like this. They use the employment statistics of the worst schools on the planet.

More than 20 schools reported that fewer than 40% of their graduates had secured such jobs. The bottom five included Whittier College (17%), University of the District of Columbia (21%), Golden Gate University (22%), Thomas Jefferson School of Law (27%) and Western New England University (30%).



You might as well throw University of Puerto Rico in there at 0%. This is as good as Jason Segal's article about the laments of students from NYLS. It was their choice to put themselves $250k in the hole at the bottom feeder schools.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby fatduck » Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:16 pm

Joeshan520 wrote:The straw mans never cease to amaze me in articles like this. They use the employment statistics of the worst schools on the planet.

More than 20 schools reported that fewer than 40% of their graduates had secured such jobs. The bottom five included Whittier College (17%), University of the District of Columbia (21%), Golden Gate University (22%), Thomas Jefferson School of Law (27%) and Western New England University (30%).


You might as well throw University of Puerto Rico in there at 0%. This is as good as Jason Segal's article about the laments of students from NYLS. It was their choice to put themselves $250k in the hole at the bottom feeder schools.

whining about "straw mans" is almost universally bad, but this is one of the worst

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby AllTheLawz » Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:26 pm

ConcernedHabsFan wrote:
Clarify.. most law students in general.. or most that go to schools below Tier 1..


At some point hard work too goes out, doesn't it? 85% will not be in the top 15% - a bad break and you are done


Well, I was playing tennis with him so I didn't inquire into great detail. But he said he went to Duke Law so he was speaking to his experience there. He said he was one of the top students, and felt he prepared and spent a lot more time preparing for exams and papers than his peers. Thus resulting in his high scores.

I brought up how in my undergraduate experience, it was tough to consistently get high scores in my department on term papers (due to only a few A's being given out to over 100 students sometimes, and that the students who got those A's tended to be brilliant, and very hardworking). And that was why I was in a Finance program now, because the academic experience was different both in a good and bad way.

He said when he was in law school, that there were a good amount of students who would only spend the expected average amount of time on preparation for exams, then go out to a bar, or hangout at the pub (to be fair, I was one of the "get this done and hit the bar" type of guys in undergrad). Whereas he made sure that he would spend more time preparing than all the other students, especially for exams.

Anyways, that was his perspective to me. I know quite a few lawyers, he's by far the most successful financially, and experienced out of the ones I've talked to. He's a super successful guy professionally, so I'm not really surprised that he was super successful academically.


Maybe that was how it was back in his day at Duke but it most certainly isn't like that at top schools now. The majority of people study/work a ton and to prepare significantly "more than all the other students" would require a superhuman effort that might put you at risk of death. We are talking about people who graduated in the top 10 students of their class at the top school in foreign countries where only the top 10 students in each province are even admitted to the top school, people who write blog entries about their opinions on recent court rulings for fun, and some people who literally have zero interest in social interaction.. You aren't going to make top 15% by simple virtue of "outworking" the other 85%.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby ConcernedHabsFan » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:01 pm

Maybe that was how it was back in his day at Duke but it most certainly isn't like that at top schools now. The majority of people study/work a ton and to prepare significantly "more than all the other students" would require a superhuman effort that might put you at risk of death. We are talking about people who graduated in the top 10 students of their class at the top school in foreign countries where only the top 10 students in each province are even admitted to the top school, people who write blog entries about their opinions on recent court rulings for fun, and some people who literally have zero interest in social interaction.. You aren't going to make top 15% by simple virtue of "outworking" the other 85%.


Interesting you say that, because where I work right now (a tennis center), I meet a lot of lawyers and other professionals (accountants, pharmacists, doctors). And, a lot of lawyers have likened their careers to tennis when I talk with them.

The guy from Duke actually compared it to pro tennis, where you'll have your extremely hardworking and talented people who always find success because they'll just flat out spend whatever amount of time and resources it is to beat you (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic). Then you'll have those with crazy work ethic but lack natural talent but still find success due to their unwavering work ethic (David Ferrer, Andy Roddick), and you have the ones talented enough to beat everyone but don't work hard enough on that level to do it (Tsonga, Gasquet, Murray). So, it's basically a theory of "levels of hard work." Are they all hardworking enough to be Top 20 tennis players? Yes (basically everyone in the Top 100 has dedicated their lives since they were 6 to tennis). Are they on the level where they're going to win 6 Grand Slams? No - because that would be "superhuman" like you said. And only very few people in this world have that high a level of work ethic. So this Duke guy, I'm assuming from knowing him (though I never knew him at school), had a high threshold of "level of hard work." Probably only 1/10th of someone on a Federer/Nadal "level of hard work", but definitely on a level where according to him he prepared harder than everyone else to get the high grades he wanted.

For non-tennis fans, it's the "Kobe Bryant vs Vince Carter" comparison. Is Vince hardworking? He has to be incredibly hardworking in order to even make the NBA, let alone have a 10 year career as an All-star. He's probably at the top 1% of "hardworking people." But is his "level of work ethic" comparable to Kobe's? Is he flying to German to find a way to play 3 more seasons through damaged knees, has he developed at low-post game at age 30 to counter his declining quickness, will he play through an All-star game with a broken nose? He's nowhere close to that level of MVP worthiness of hard work.

Also, I know a few people at Yale and Columbia grad school right now, or top Engineering programs. They're not that hardworking. I'd describe them as smart people, that are responsible, and keep their partying to non-busy weekends. They don't spend any more hours per day studying than high schoolers in Korea or Japan.
Last edited by ConcernedHabsFan on Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby Joeshan520 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:18 pm

fatduck wrote:
Joeshan520 wrote:The straw mans never cease to amaze me in articles like this. They use the employment statistics of the worst schools on the planet.

More than 20 schools reported that fewer than 40% of their graduates had secured such jobs. The bottom five included Whittier College (17%), University of the District of Columbia (21%), Golden Gate University (22%), Thomas Jefferson School of Law (27%) and Western New England University (30%).


You might as well throw University of Puerto Rico in there at 0%. This is as good as Jason Segal's article about the laments of students from NYLS. It was their choice to put themselves $250k in the hole at the bottom feeder schools.

whining about "straw mans" is almost universally bad, but this is one of the worst


How is it one of the worst? It's a known fact that employment market isn't in great shape, but to support the argument with statistics from the worst schools to me is a superficial position. To take on debt for one of the worst schools is the choice of the student.

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby glitter178 » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:26 pm

ConcernedHabsFan wrote:
Maybe that was how it was back in his day at Duke but it most certainly isn't like that at top schools now. The majority of people study/work a ton and to prepare significantly "more than all the other students" would require a superhuman effort that might put you at risk of death. We are talking about people who graduated in the top 10 students of their class at the top school in foreign countries where only the top 10 students in each province are even admitted to the top school, people who write blog entries about their opinions on recent court rulings for fun, and some people who literally have zero interest in social interaction.. You aren't going to make top 15% by simple virtue of "outworking" the other 85%.


Interesting you say that, because where I work right now (a tennis center), I meet a lot of lawyers and other professionals (accountants, pharmacists, doctors). And, a lot of lawyers have likened their careers to tennis when I talk with them.

The guy from Duke actually compared it to pro tennis, where you'll have your extremely hardworking and talented people who always find success because they'll just flat out spend whatever amount of time and resources it is to beat you (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic). Then you'll have those with crazy work ethic but lack natural talent but still find success due to their unwavering work ethic (David Ferrer, Andy Roddick), and you have the ones talented enough to beat everyone but don't work hard enough on that level to do it (Tsonga, Gasquet, Murray). So, it's basically a theory of "levels of hard work." Are they all hardworking enough to be Top 20 tennis players? Yes. Are they on the level where they're going to win 6 Grand Slams? No - because that would be "superhuman" like you said. And only very few people in this world have that high a level of work ethic. So this Duke guy, I'm assuming from knowing him (though I never knew him at school), had a high threshold of "level of hard work." Probably not on a Federer/Nadal level, but definitely one where, according to him he prepared harder than everyone else to get the high grades he wanted.

For non-tennis fans, it's the "Kobe Bryant vs Vince Carter" comparison. Is Vince hardworking? He has to be incredibly hardworking in order to even make the NBA, let alone have a 10 year career as an All-star. He's probably at the top 1% of "hardworking people." But is his "level of work ethic" comparable to Kobe's? Is he flying to German to find a way to play 3 more seasons through damaged knees, has he developed at low-post game at age 30 to counter his declining quickness, will he play through an All-star game with a broken nose? He's nowhere close to that level of MVP worthiness of hard work.

Also, I know a few people at Yale and Columbia grad school right now, or top Engineering programs. They're not that hardworking. I'd describe them as smart people, that are responsible, and keep their partying to non-busy weekends. They don't spend any more hours per day studying than high schoolers in Korea or Japan.


lol at comparing lawyers to tennis pros or kobe bryant. also, cool ancedote bro

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Re: Wall Street Journal Article:Law Grads Face Brutal Job Market

Postby sunynp » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:29 pm

Joeshan520 wrote:
fatduck wrote:
Joeshan520 wrote:The straw mans never cease to amaze me in articles like this. They use the employment statistics of the worst schools on the planet.

More than 20 schools reported that fewer than 40% of their graduates had secured such jobs. The bottom five included Whittier College (17%), University of the District of Columbia (21%), Golden Gate University (22%), Thomas Jefferson School of Law (27%) and Western New England University (30%).


You might as well throw University of Puerto Rico in there at 0%. This is as good as Jason Segal's article about the laments of students from NYLS. It was their choice to put themselves $250k in the hole at the bottom feeder schools.

whining about "straw mans" is almost universally bad, but this is one of the worst


How is it one of the worst? It's a known fact that employment market isn't in great shape, but to support the argument with statistics from the worst schools to me is a superficial position. To take on debt for one of the worst schools is the choice of the student.


I don't think you read the article. This quote is included:

The 2011 data reinforce the notion in the industry that students from the top 14 U.S. law schools have little trouble finding work. The top-ranked schools sent graduates into long-term legal jobs in high numbers, but 87 lower-tier schools had placement rates of 50% or less.


This problem is bigger than just the few schools at the bottom. I think the article reflects that.
If you don't agree, may I refer you to Rayiner's chart in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=181723




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