Websites to Research Before Going to Law School

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legalese_retard
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Websites to Research Before Going to Law School

Postby legalese_retard » Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:38 am

Not trying to beat a dead horse since there have been several recent threads about this topic, but I thought it would be helpful to have a thread where prospective students can go to do some meaningful research before they decide to go to law school. Hopefully this can be a "library" where folks can add links to articles, research, blogs, forums, etc that are relevant and can provide some alternative perspective. I visited forums when I was applying to law school and there was definitely a "pro-law school" bias - everyone on the forum was going to law school and no one was trying to convince people otherwise. Some folks (known to y'all as trolls) have gone the wrong way of trying to dissuade folks out of law school without providing meaniful data or proper perspective. In short, here are some links I think are useful. Feel free to add on and critique what you see:

BLOGS:
http://www.abajournal.com/blawgs/blawg100_2008/news (The 2008 ABA Journal Blawg 100)

http://www.abovethelaw.com (a gossip rag for big law)

http://temporaryattorney.blogspot.com/ (life as a temporary attorney)

http://hiringpartneradvice.blogspot.com/

http://blogs.wsj.com/law/ (legal news, similar to ATL)

http://www.law.com/jsp/law/index.jsp (more legal news)

http://lawshucks.com/ (ATL knockoff)

http://lawschoolclerkship.blogspot.com/ (track clerkships)

http://lawclerkaddict2009.blogspot.com/ (what law schools federal appellate clerks came from)

http://kevin.lexblog.com/ (Real Lawyers Have Blogs)

--LinkRemoved-- (SCOTUS Blog)

http://taxprof.typepad.com/ (Tax Prof Law Blog)



FORUMS:
--LinkRemoved-- (a bunch of chicken littles running around screaming the sky is falling, but some personal stories after law school)

--LinkRemoved--

http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/

http://www.infirmation.com/pvt/other/ (Regional Greedy Associate Forums)

http://all4jds.com/ (better forum to visit while studying for the BAR)

ARTICLES/STUDIES:
Perspectives on Fall 2008 Law Student Recruiting
http://www.nalp.org/uploads/Perspective ... l_2008.pdf

Recruiting & Recession Realities For Law Firms, Laterals & Law Students Making Sense Out of Uncertain Times
--LinkRemoved--

Hard Case: Job Market Wanes for U.S. Lawyers
--LinkRemoved--

What Law School Rankings Don't Say About Costly Choices
http://www.law.com/jsp/law/careercenter ... 8256428026

Growth Recedes at 'NLJ 250' Firms Amid Bad Economy
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202425894490

After the JD: First Results of a National Study of Legal Careers
--LinkRemoved--

Attorneys at risk
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/ ... leId=31342

CHARTS/GRAPHS/RANKINGS:
National Jurist: Law School Ranking by Starting Salaries of Graduates
http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog ... urist.html

A Picture Worth 1,000 Words
http://www.nalp.org/apictureworth1000words

NLJ LAW SCHOOLS REPORT
http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNL ... 7904905714

Layoff Tracker
http://lawshucks.com/layoff-tracker/

Top Law Schools for Federal Appellate Clerkships 2009
http://lawclerkaddict2009.blogspot.com/ ... chart.html

Top Law Schools for Federal Appellate Clerkships 2008
http://lawclerkaddict2008.blogspot.com/

Top Law Schools for Federal Appellate Clerkships 2007
http://lawclerkaddict.blogspot.com/

INSIDER SALARY CHARTS FOR REGIONAL FIRMS
http://www.infirmation.com/shared/insider/payscale.tcl
http://www.alreadybored.com

Reciprocity Chart (see which states accept bar admissions from other states - not sure how accruate though)
--LinkRemoved--

NALP Firms (here you can see how many NALP firms interview at each law school during OCI; typically these are well established firms, but the fact that a firm is not a NALP member does not mean it's a bad firm. Each firm has a profile similar to the ABA Law School profiles on LSDAS and will have info on starting salary, billable hours, minority %, and how much they pay summers).
--LinkRemoved--

Martin-Dale (yellow pages directory of most firms. NOTE: not all firms pay to be listed here)
http://www.martindale.com/

Vault Law Firm 2009 (basically the USNews version of law firm rankings, but generally superfical at best; it's mainly a tool for the douchebags on autoadmit and ATL to use to make themselves feel better about being douchebags)
http://www.vault.com/nr/lawrankings.jsp ... 2&top100=1

2008 NLJ 250 Law Firms (the 250 largest law firms ranking)
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202425850619
Last edited by legalese_retard on Wed Feb 25, 2009 6:26 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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90s Nickelodeon
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby 90s Nickelodeon » Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:43 am

Good thing I have absolutely zero interest in working at a law firm! (That layoff tracker is terrifying!)

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legalese_retard
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby legalese_retard » Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:46 am

EXERCISE
http://www.craigslist.org/
Another reality check. Pretend you already went to the school you got accepted to and are thinking about attending. You graduated medium or around the bottom half of your class and are unemployed at graduation. After exhausting all resources, you have to start looking on your own. Visit the craigslist site for your city or the city you want to practice in and see what jobs are available. As an unemployed law graduate, I can say that this is one of the last places where there are job postings available right now. Look to see if you are willing to and don't mind working at these places whether as a contract attorney or an Insurance Defense attorney. Typically these firms pay $30K-$50K/year and STILL require decent grades, law school, law review, moot court, mock trial, etc.

williamholden1
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby williamholden1 » Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:48 am

On this subject, does anyone have any information on law job growth in various cities/regions? I'm weighing several different regional schools and my choice will greatly depend on whether I'm entering oversaturated markets or notoriously competitive markets.

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90s Nickelodeon
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby 90s Nickelodeon » Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:52 am

legalese_retard wrote:EXERCISE
http://www.craigslist.org/
Another reality check. Pretend you already went to the school you got accepted to and are thinking about attending. You graduated medium or around the bottom half of your class and are unemployed at graduation. After exhausting all resources, you have to start looking on your own. Visit the craigslist site for your city or the city you want to practice in and see what jobs are available. As an unemployed law graduate, I can say that this is one of the last places where there are job postings available right now. Look to see if you are willing to and don't mind working at these places whether as a contract attorney or an Insurance Defense attorney. Typically these firms pay $30K-$50K/year and STILL require decent grades, law school, law review, moot court, mock trial, etc.


This is a good idea for all postgraduate students. People take heed to this advice.

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Kohinoor
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby Kohinoor » Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:53 am

Yup. It sucks that law is failing while the rest of the economy flourishes. Oh wait...

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legalese_retard
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby legalese_retard » Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:56 am

williamholden1 wrote:On this subject, does anyone have any information on law job growth in various cities/regions? I'm weighing several different regional schools and my choice will greatly depend on whether I'm entering oversaturated markets or notoriously competitive markets.


I don't know if there is such data, but you can go to the Infirmation Greedy Associate board for the regions you are interested in and see what are the current legal trends in that area. Some of the data (like the salary surveys) are outdated, but there are some useful stuff that is region specific.

http://www.infirmation.com/pvt/other/

azlawlady
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby azlawlady » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:00 pm

legalese_retard wrote:EXERCISE
http://www.craigslist.org/
Another reality check. Pretend you already went to the school you got accepted to and are thinking about attending. You graduated medium or around the bottom half of your class and are unemployed at graduation. After exhausting all resources, you have to start looking on your own. Visit the craigslist site for your city or the city you want to practice in and see what jobs are available. As an unemployed law graduate, I can say that this is one of the last places where there are job postings available right now. Look to see if you are willing to and don't mind working at these places whether as a contract attorney or an Insurance Defense attorney. Typically these firms pay $30K-$50K/year and STILL require decent grades, law school, law review, moot court, mock trial, etc.

I think doing this in general is a really good thing in order to get a better idea of the kinds of jobs out there in the city that you want to work, but I can think of a bunch of better job sites to look at than craigslist.

ETA: OP this is really a great list of resources, thanks!
Last edited by azlawlady on Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

pmunk
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby pmunk » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:08 pm

National Jurist: Law School Ranking by Starting Salaries of Graduates
http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog ... urist.html

This chart doesn't match up with his source. I was a bit incredulous when I noticed he had Chicago-Kent at #5, and BYU at #18, with Yale, BU, and BC nowhere to be found. This chart is malarkey.

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screech
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby screech » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:11 pm

legalese_retard wrote:
williamholden1 wrote:On this subject, does anyone have any information on law job growth in various cities/regions? I'm weighing several different regional schools and my choice will greatly depend on whether I'm entering oversaturated markets or notoriously competitive markets.


I don't know if there is such data, but you can go to the Infirmation Greedy Associate board for the regions you are interested in and see what are the current legal trends in that area. Some of the data (like the salary surveys) are outdated, but there are some useful stuff that is region specific.

http://www.infirmation.com/pvt/other/


I take it that it's a bad sign if your state is not even on the list? Not looking too good.

Tacitus
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby Tacitus » Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:15 pm

This site is truly the best resource for salaries, infirmation.com is a bit dated (some firms even have 1999 data listed):

http://www.alreadybored.com

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legalese_retard
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby legalese_retard » Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:09 pm

pmunk wrote:National Jurist: Law School Ranking by Starting Salaries of Graduates
http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog ... urist.html

This chart doesn't match up with his source. I was a bit incredulous when I noticed he had Chicago-Kent at #5, and BYU at #18, with Yale, BU, and BC nowhere to be found. This chart is malarkey.


That chart is actually from National Jurist. Schools like Yale place 30-40% of its class in prominent clerkships that pay less than $60K/year and a high number will go into entry-level academia positions. So even if 60% of Yale's students go into biglaw directly after graduation, it's average salary is probably going to be less than a school like Kent where most of their class may not get biglaw but will probably get private law jobs that pay more than $60K. It's all about the fine print.

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doyleoil
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby doyleoil » Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:15 pm

legalese_retard wrote:
pmunk wrote:National Jurist: Law School Ranking by Starting Salaries of Graduates
http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog ... urist.html

This chart doesn't match up with his source. I was a bit incredulous when I noticed he had Chicago-Kent at #5, and BYU at #18, with Yale, BU, and BC nowhere to be found. This chart is malarkey.


That chart is actually from National Jurist. Schools like Yale place 30-40% of its class in prominent clerkships that pay less than $60K/year and a high number will go into entry-level academia positions. So even if 60% of Yale's students go into biglaw directly after graduation, it's average salary is probably going to be less than a school like Kent where most of their class may not get biglaw but will probably get private law jobs that pay more than $60K. It's all about the fine print.


doesn't explain the conspicuous, shocking, utter-credibility-destroying absence of columbia, the biglaw machine par-excellence

Snooker
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby Snooker » Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:28 pm

To be realistic, most good professions have these issues: low starting salaries, hard to get your foot in the door, crushing hours at the "elite" level. From my experience in health care, I can tell you a medical technologist* takes two years to train, half fail to get jobs, and those who get them will earn in the mid-30s. Many have college degrees. Nurses can make good money, especially if specialized, but the stress they're under conjures stories of biglaw (except that demented patients occasionally assault them), and they burn out and totally leave the profession at alarming rates. I don't know as many physician assistants, but if it's anything like nursing, it's a shitty prospect as well.

Doctors require 4 years of med school, and then your starting salary is a princely $40,000 (2/3 of law), which we call "residency". If a Doctor does residency for 3 years, then works for 100k for 3 years, he'd have made 220k to pay his debts. A lawyer starting at 55k for 2 years, making 60k another 2, and 65k another 2 will have made $365k over the six years - 50% more than the doctor, with 2/3 the debt!

When I bring up the trials and tribulations of lawyers, health care people LAUGH at me. Put it in perspective. Lawyers, even TTT grads, are social elites. Any median student at a JD institution will out-earn, by around 15%, the median student of a similarly ranked MBA program. But the lawyer unemployment rate rarely hits 1%, and when it does, we call it a recession.

What does this tell us about the legal profession? First, half of you are morons for attending TTT schools charging 40k a year when there's plenty of schools charging 10-15k at the TTT level. Second, our attraction to the legal profession has made us a bunch of whiny whores who don't know a good deal when we have one.



*Anyone who operates medical equipment on behalf of a doctor, especially in medical imaging.

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presh
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby presh » Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:33 pm

.
Last edited by presh on Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

Snooker
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby Snooker » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:42 pm

Note of caution about perusing JD underground; every profession has its own cadre of losers and washouts. I know a guy who went through 2 (or 3?) years of nurse training, got a job for 6 months, was incompetent and now works some entry level blue collar job at a chemical plant from 2pm to 3am shifts. I know a guy who was a top-shelf investment banker, but chose a lot of otherwise rock-solid oil investments right before the oil industry crashed in the 80s, and nobody would trust him to handle their grandma's little stock portfolio. Later on, he did pretty OK in real estate investments, but was still making less than TTT South Texas College of Law attorneys. From Harvard Biz, to Goldman, to TTT?

When you read JD underground, you're reading about people who got a JD and managed to fall to the bottom .5% of the profession. But that's not the fate of a TTT school. Anyone applying to one of these should take three steps:

1. Ask local people about the school's reputation
2. See if the local market is saturated
3. Calculate how difficult the debt will be to manage earning 60k a year.

Granted, 60k starting ain't too shabby. Mechanical engineers after 3 years, on the median, expect what - 70k? And their salaries plateau very quickly. A lawyer starting at 60k has lots of room for growth.

The JD underground whining is not a good indication of anything except that lawyers are skilled and eager complainers. It's the only profession on earth that prides itself on filing complaints with federal courts for "spilt milk" (or hot coffee). Law is a FINE profession. Choose the right law school. You can have fine career even with an LSAT in the high 140s - Joe Biden, anyone? (mainly because so many small biz legal consumers have no clue what makes an attorney good, and many think that some TTT schools compare with T20 schools)

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A'nold
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby A'nold » Tue Feb 10, 2009 2:46 pm

legalese_retard wrote:can provide some alternative perspective. I visited forums when I was applying to law school and there was definitely a "pro-law school" bias - everyone on the forum was going to law school and no one was trying to convince people otherwise.


HAHA to all of the above. Trying a different angle, eh?

Palsgraf
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby Palsgraf » Tue Feb 10, 2009 3:01 pm

Great thread!

Does anyone have a collection of links (either just info, or blogs/chat) for areas of law, like patent, IP, criminal law, tax law, etc.?

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sba314
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby sba314 » Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:28 pm

legalese_retard wrote:EXERCISE
http://www.craigslist.org/
Another reality check... Visit the craigslist site for your city or the city you want to practice in and see what jobs are available.

Another reality check: look at the same listings to see what jobs are available for a bachelor's degree in philosophy.

pdennis1000
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby pdennis1000 » Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:30 pm

This is a great thread. I'm all for adding extra resources to my law school/career research. Thanks!

CWF V
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby CWF V » Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:34 pm

OP, good links. Thanks.

Snooker, well said.

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invictus
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby invictus » Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:24 pm

sba314 wrote:
legalese_retard wrote:EXERCISE
http://www.craigslist.org/
Another reality check... Visit the craigslist site for your city or the city you want to practice in and see what jobs are available.

Another reality check: look at the same listings to see what jobs are available for a bachelor's degree in philosophy.


Or a BA in English.

Seriously, as long as I don't rack up over 100,000+ in debt, I think I'll be ok. $60,000/year entry level isn't bad at all, and there's a lot of room for growth.

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legalese_retard
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby legalese_retard » Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:28 pm

invictus wrote:
sba314 wrote:
legalese_retard wrote:EXERCISE
http://www.craigslist.org/
Another reality check... Visit the craigslist site for your city or the city you want to practice in and see what jobs are available.

Another reality check: look at the same listings to see what jobs are available for a bachelor's degree in philosophy.


Or a BA in English.

Seriously, as long as I don't rack up over 100,000+ in debt, I think I'll be ok. $60,000/year entry level isn't bad at all, and there's a lot of room for growth.


That's exactly why I recommend an exercise like this to put your future in perspective. $60K/year is awesome after graduation; but couple that with loans in the $140-160K range and your COL is the same as after college or even right after high school.

sbalive
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby sbalive » Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:29 pm

invictus wrote:
sba314 wrote:
legalese_retard wrote:EXERCISE
http://www.craigslist.org/
Another reality check... Visit the craigslist site for your city or the city you want to practice in and see what jobs are available.

Another reality check: look at the same listings to see what jobs are available for a bachelor's degree in philosophy.


Or a BA in English.

Seriously, as long as I don't rack up over 100,000+ in debt, I think I'll be ok. $60,000/year entry level isn't bad at all, and there's a lot of room for growth.


That is the correct perspective. If you're starting with $0 or even up to $30-40K in debt, in the end you'll still have as much debt as an Engineering major & have similar salary prospects (setting aside inflated salaries during various bubbles). You'll also still have as much debt as an Architecture major and have much better salary prospects. And if you already have $100K+ debt after getting a BA in English, then why the hell not take on more, since you're already pretty much screwed.

bigben
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Re: Research job prospects and the profession BEFORE law school

Postby bigben » Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:33 pm

Kohinoor wrote:Yup. It sucks that law is failing while the rest of the economy flourishes. Oh wait...


Good point, all markets are contracting and law is no different in this respect, in fact it's better than some. But law is fairly unique in having an overabundance of schools. They just can't seem to stop opening up law schools because they are so profitable.

Anyway, great thread.
Last edited by bigben on Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.




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