JCougar wrote:I don't know what the exact stats are, but 15% unemployment has to put JD grads somewhere in the range between "I got my GED at age 21" and "some community college."
Appreciating that this may be exaggeration and I'm getting wooshed a bit, I keep seeing this sentiment of "you're actually even less
employable as a JD" and I don't fully understand it. Aren't the same boomers that tell people they can do anything with a JD the boomers that are looking to fill non-JD required positions in the rest of the work force? I have some degree of difficulty imagining an employer going "well, we would have hired you if you'd just been a homeless liberal arts grad, but since you went to law school, we're not going to."
From what I've witnessed myself, I think there's a number of factors at work. #1 has already been mentioned: no one wants to hire someone for a non-JD position, because the perception is that you'll bolt for a lawyer job as soon as one pops up. Having to constantly post positions and re-hire for them is a huge expense and time sink for companies. They only want to do it once and be done with it. IMO, it takes about 2 years of failing as a lawyer before employers start to believe that you're actually done with the profession. During which time, the interest on your school loans will accrue massive, additional chunks of debt.
#2 is that reality is slow to sink in for a certain segment of law grads. Sometimes it takes a year of being unemployed for it to dawn on them that they're not going to get an M&A job in NYC if the struck out at OCI, even if they have a decent financial background and went to a T25, etc. A lot of these people need to be mass-mailing and networking for shitlaw jobs, and/or doc review (you have to basically network or have prior experience to even get doc review these days) but instead, they're still sending their resumes to the likes of Cravath, the SEC, NYC corporate counsel, state AG, etc. Need to just move back in with their parents and do local shitlaw with their dad's friend, but don't want to face up to the fact that they'll never be a big city attorney.
#3 is that this whole process is extremely mentally taxing and depressing, and it's easy to start going down the tubes even before you graduate. Instances of depression are at normal levels for most incoming law students, but they literally explode soon after 1L, as reality sinks in that students have made a massive gamble on their future and even at the best of schools, close to 50% of them have lost. I think your chances of being depressed increase something like tenfold from start to finish. When people are depressed, it's hard for them to keep up their personal appearance, to continue to apply for jobs on a regular basis and be rejected again and again, keep proper grooming and lifestyle habits, etc. This decreases your chances of landing a job.
#4 could just be that some of these people are spending most of their time trying to pass the bar because they failed once, twice, or more--as the ABA Section on Legal Education continues to accredit new schools with zero admission standards, which then admit people with almost no hope of passing the bar (but squeeze as much debt-financed money out of them as possible beforehand).