USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

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General Tso
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:54 pm

solo_lawyer wrote:No, but whenever there is good money to be made and no penalty for lying (for all practical purposes), there WILL BE lies. Human nature. Animal nature.

And there is plenty of evidence that those stats are (for most schools) lies. I know lots of people who had to get out of law to make a living. I barely make a living at it, and I know others like me.

No conspiracy. Just human nature.


Apparently human nature also dictates that you squash opposing ideas not by considering and refuting the evidence your opponent puts forward, but rather by crudely dismissing it with huff and bluster, mixed in with a touch of folksy conventional wisdom.

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Kohinoor
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby Kohinoor » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:04 pm

swheat wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:
redsox8105 wrote:Sometimes I wonder why the law school grads are here.



because we have little else to do? Because we are unemployed or underemployed? Because the law school stats are lies and for the most part do not even include some 50 percent of grads who are unemployed or underemployed?


Try these stats instead. You find the lies and the profit motive here.
http://www.ilrg.com/employment/salaries/

That list doesn't appear to account for solo attorneys. It defines a small firm as 2-10 lawyers therefore we never get numbers for solos. Considering that the Department of Labor identifies 27% of lawyer as self-employed, that is a startling oversight. I'm guessing that it also doesn't account for staff attorneys.

Another thing to keep in mind is that that is the data for the graduates that actually find gainful employment as lawyers at halfway reputable firms. That listing doesn't mention unemployment or underemployment at all.

'Compensation consultants, industry organizations, and trade publications, as well as from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' isn't a very useful citation for anyone seeking to fact-check their data. Impossible to critique sources when said sources are never explicitly stated.

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solo_lawyer
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:08 pm

swheat wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:No, but whenever there is good money to be made and no penalty for lying (for all practical purposes), there WILL BE lies. Human nature. Animal nature.

And there is plenty of evidence that those stats are (for most schools) lies. I know lots of people who had to get out of law to make a living. I barely make a living at it, and I know others like me.

No conspiracy. Just human nature.


Apparently human nature also dictates that you squash opposing ideas not by considering and refuting the evidence your opponent puts forward, but rather by crudely dismissing it with huff and bluster, mixed in with a touch of folksy conventional wisdom.



Why, shucks. Thankee kindly!

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General Tso
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:18 pm

Kohinoor wrote:That list doesn't appear to account for solo attorneys. It defines a small firm as 2-10 lawyers therefore we never get numbers for solos. Considering that the Department of Labor identifies 27% of lawyer as self-employed, that is a startling oversight. I'm guessing that it also doesn't account for staff attorneys.

Another thing to keep in mind is that that is the data for the graduates that actually find gainful employment as lawyers at halfway reputable firms. That listing doesn't mention unemployment or underemployment at all.

'Compensation consultants, industry organizations, and trade publications, as well as from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' isn't a very useful citation for anyone seeking to fact-check their data. Impossible to critique sources when said sources are never explicitly stated.


So find something better. While it's not easy to fact check, I would say those seem like pretty reliable sources on the surface. Compensation consultants are generally used by employers to consult them on how much to pay their prospective employees. So if anything this source has an incentive to deliver low salary projections, given their source of income. Industry organizations and trade journals, again, don't see much incentive to lie from lawyers actually in the field. Given the intense veracity of the lawyers who post here and the seemingly growing anger among lawyers towards lower-tier law graduates, I would think that lawyers would have some incentive to downplay salary prospects as well. And the BLS, well I am not sure what incentive they would have to lie about lawyer salaries either.

Of course you are going to see ATL articles about young lawyers' struggles right now. Every field is struggling right now. But those articles tend to focus on a tiny fraction of the lawyer pool. They single out one struggling lawyer here, one struggling lawyer there. They profile a BU grad who never found a job. I want to see hard data that shows 2 things with a LARGE sample (1) a rising unemployment rate among lawyers that exceeds that of the general population. (2) Salaries for first year associates that show MOST of them (T100 grads in particular) in the sub-60k range. Not 1/3 of them. Not 40% of them. MOST. Better yet, I am hoping to see 80% of them in sub-55k range like snotrocket claims.

I have yet to see anyone post any hard statistical evidence that DOES show mass unemployment in the legal field. I have yet to see hard evidence of "35-60k" or "45-55" being "quite the rule."

Someone find it, and I will shut up and even consider deactivating my TLS account.

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solo_lawyer
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:21 pm

Just use common sense, people. Look at the financial industry. A good part of it, it now seems, was built on deceptive statistics, manipulation of data, and outright lies. And yet our financial system has been very heavily regulated for decades now. Yet, it would seem that regulation did not deter deceit.

Whenever you have money on one side and the easy way to get there is via deceit, you will get deceit.

Now the law school industry make plenty of money, too. But no regulation, no auditors, no penalties, unlike the financial industry. Now you tell me. You have these statistics that paint an oh so rosy picture. And then you have all these broke-ass, unemployed, underemployed lawyers all over the internet saying the stats are lies.

The law school industry and its collaborators are saying, "who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?"

Just use common sense... believe your eyes. They aint lying...And neither are all these lawyers telling you to stay far away from the law school scam.

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General Tso
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:45 pm

solo_lawyer wrote:Just use common sense, people. Look at the financial industry. A good part of it, it now seems, was built on deceptive statistics, manipulation of data, and outright lies. And yet our financial system has been very heavily regulated for decades now. Yet, it would seem that regulation did not deter deceit.

Whenever you have money on one side and the easy way to get there is via deceit, you will get deceit.

Now the law school industry make plenty of money, too. But no regulation, no auditors, no penalties, unlike the financial industry. Now you tell me. You have these statistics that paint an oh so rosy picture. And then you have all these broke-ass, unemployed, underemployed lawyers all over the internet saying the stats are lies.

The law school industry and its collaborators are saying, "who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?"

Just use common sense... believe your eyes. They aint lying...And neither are all these lawyers telling you to stay far away from the law school scam.


On the contrary, I am highly skeptical as a rule of any older adults (especially those who supposedly have intense jobs) who frequent message boards populated by younger people. :D

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Kohinoor
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby Kohinoor » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:02 pm

solo_lawyer wrote:Just use common sense, people. Look at the financial industry. A good part of it, it now seems, was built on deceptive statistics, manipulation of data, and outright lies. And yet our financial system has been very heavily regulated for decades now. Yet, it would seem that regulation did not deter deceit.

Whenever you have money on one side and the easy way to get there is via deceit, you will get deceit.

Now the law school industry make plenty of money, too. But no regulation, no auditors, no penalties, unlike the financial industry. Now you tell me. You have these statistics that paint an oh so rosy picture. And then you have all these broke-ass, unemployed, underemployed lawyers all over the internet saying the stats are lies.

The law school industry and its collaborators are saying, "who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?"

Just use common sense... believe your eyes. They aint lying...And neither are all these lawyers telling you to stay far away from the law school scam.

While I agree that swheat's statistics are suspect, you're full of it to imply for one second that lawyers aren't regulated.

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solo_lawyer
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:08 pm

swheat wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:Just use common sense, people. Look at the financial industry. A good part of it, it now seems, was built on deceptive statistics, manipulation of data, and outright lies. And yet our financial system has been very heavily regulated for decades now. Yet, it would seem that regulation did not deter deceit.

Whenever you have money on one side and the easy way to get there is via deceit, you will get deceit.

Now the law school industry make plenty of money, too. But no regulation, no auditors, no penalties, unlike the financial industry. Now you tell me. You have these statistics that paint an oh so rosy picture. And then you have all these broke-ass, unemployed, underemployed lawyers all over the internet saying the stats are lies.

The law school industry and its collaborators are saying, "who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?"

Just use common sense... believe your eyes. They aint lying...And neither are all these lawyers telling you to stay far away from the law school scam.


On the contrary, I am highly skeptical as a rule of any older adults (especially those who supposedly have intense jobs) who frequent message boards populated by younger people. :D




Maybe I am not that old.

Maybe I have no job, intense or otherwise because there are far more lawyers looking for jobs than there are jobs (and it has been that way for several years now).

Maybe you should be highly skeptical of the law school industry that is selling this pack of lies.

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solo_lawyer
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:10 pm

Kohinoor wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:Just use common sense, people. Look at the financial industry. A good part of it, it now seems, was built on deceptive statistics, manipulation of data, and outright lies. And yet our financial system has been very heavily regulated for decades now. Yet, it would seem that regulation did not deter deceit.

Whenever you have money on one side and the easy way to get there is via deceit, you will get deceit.

Now the law school industry make plenty of money, too. But no regulation, no auditors, no penalties, unlike the financial industry. Now you tell me. You have these statistics that paint an oh so rosy picture. And then you have all these broke-ass, unemployed, underemployed lawyers all over the internet saying the stats are lies.

The law school industry and its collaborators are saying, "who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?"

Just use common sense... believe your eyes. They aint lying...And neither are all these lawyers telling you to stay far away from the law school scam.

While I agree that swheat's statistics are suspect, you're full of it to imply for one second that lawyers aren't regulated.



As a lawyer, I know that LAWYERS are highly regulated when they act in their capacity as lawyers. However, I did not say that lawyers were unregulated. I said that the law school INDUSTRY is more or less unregulated. The law schools and the people who profit from them are not acting as lawyers.


And so they lie to get more money. Shocking, aint it!?

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General Tso
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:14 pm

Kohinoor wrote:While I agree that swheat's statistics are suspect, you're full of it to imply for one second that lawyers aren't regulated.


Nobody has been able to articulate to me any credible argument, nor has anybody provided any evidence (eg. statistics) to prove the notion that most T100 grads will end up at 45-55k jobs, even in big legal markets like NorCal.

In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I will continue to believe the evidence that I have located. And yes, that evidence includes school salary surveys. They may only provide stats for a small sample of the class (25%, 40%, 60%, whatever), but they are better than taking at face value "30-55k" without any evidence other than anecdotal personal experiences and ATL articles reporting individual cases.

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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby snotrocket » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:52 pm

Nobody has been able to articulate to me any credible argument, nor has anybody provided any evidence (eg. statistics) to prove the notion that most T100 grads will end up at 45-55k jobs, even in big legal markets like NorCal. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I will continue to believe the evidence that I have located. And yes, that evidence includes school salary surveys. They may only provide stats for a small sample of the class (25%, 40%, 60%, whatever), but they are better than taking at face value "30-55k" without any evidence other than anecdotal personal experiences and ATL articles reporting individual cases.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias

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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:01 pm

snotrocket wrote:
Nobody has been able to articulate to me any credible argument, nor has anybody provided any evidence (eg. statistics) to prove the notion that most T100 grads will end up at 45-55k jobs, even in big legal markets like NorCal. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I will continue to believe the evidence that I have located. And yes, that evidence includes school salary surveys. They may only provide stats for a small sample of the class (25%, 40%, 60%, whatever), but they are better than taking at face value "30-55k" without any evidence other than anecdotal personal experiences and ATL articles reporting individual cases.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias


And after reading an article on ATL about a lawyer or two who never found work out of a non-T14, one decides that non-T14 law school is a sham and a waste, what would that be?

What I am doing does not conform to that definition. "In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias is a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions and to avoid information and interpretations which contradict prior beliefs."

I'm not avoiding any contrary evidence. Nobody has shown me any. Maybe there isn't any.

Again, I repeat what I said earlier. Somebody show me hard evidence of MOST (51% will do, but I am really hoping to see the 80% that snotrocket mentioned) T100 grads earning 30-55k and I will shut up and possibly deactivate my TLS account. That evidence needs a large sample size and statistics are preferable.

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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:09 pm

You guys had to have read this 30-55k talk somewhere right? So let's see it. You guys criticize my two statistical sources (one of them with no financial bias, mind you) but you provide nothing. Where does this 30-55k figure come from? Other than a handful of postings on craigslist. Some people may find craigslist a reputable measuring stick for the legal job market. I do not.

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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby njc » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:23 pm

swheat wrote:You guys had to have read this 30-55k talk somewhere right? So let's see it. You guys criticize my two statistical sources (one of them with no financial bias, mind you) but you provide nothing. Where does this 30-55k figure come from? Other than a handful of postings on craigslist. Some people may find craigslist a reputable measuring stick for the legal job market. I do not.


+1

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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:27 pm

swheat wrote:You guys had to have read this 30-55k talk somewhere right? So let's see it. You guys criticize my two statistical sources (one of them with no financial bias, mind you) but you provide nothing. Where does this 30-55k figure come from? Other than a handful of postings on craigslist. Some people may find craigslist a reputable measuring stick for the legal job market. I do not.



The going rate for courtroom-experienced TTT grads IS what it IS. And the evidence is right in front of your eyes.

Free market. And what you are worth is right there....

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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pm

--LinkRemoved--

This pdf, which is a very pessimistic article about the state of the legal market, contains 2 pie graphs on page 7. These pie graphs are inflation adjusted (in 2005 dollars) salary quartiles for the Chicago legal market in 1975 and 1995. It shows how, when adjusted for inflation, the rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer.

In 1995, the lowest quartile (25%) of lawyers in Chicago earned $33k in 2005 dollars. The next lowest quartile earned $67k in 2005 dollars. The next quartile earned $106k, and the richest quartile earned 325k.

So 75% of lawyers in Chicago in 1995 earned, on average, 67k or more in 2005 dollars. Has competition increased since 1995? Certainly. Is the market more saturated now than then? Yes. Are 51% or more of Chicago lawyers making "30-55k" in 2009 dollars? Not likely.

I'll try to find more recent data. This is not the greatest evidence but it shows that even pessimistic articles are not as pessimistic as these guys on TLS.

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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby hieveryone » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:43 pm

Dude..what's with the fixation on 51%/most? Honestly, just having 25% of lawyers making so little is unnerving. Many of those people are ruined by student debt...

Granted, things may not be as bad as some people make it out to be, (and what do I know?) but would 40% of lawyers making under 50K make you feel much better? That's kind of ridiculous, considering how much law schools cost.

I agree that depending on the situation, going into a lot of debt is fine. However, where do you draw the line? The stats you post are for employed lawyers--what about the numerous unemployed lawyers out there?

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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:46 pm

hieveryone wrote:Dude..what's with the fixation on 51%/most? Honestly, just having 25% of lawyers making so little is unnerving. Many of those people are ruined by student debt...

Granted, things may not be as bad as some people make it out to be, (and what do I know?) but would 40% of lawyers making under 50K make you feel much better? That's kind of ridiculous, considering how much law schools cost.

I agree that depending on the situation, going into a lot of debt is fine. However, where do you draw the line? The stats you post are for employed lawyers--what about the numerous unemployed lawyers out there?



Hey, dude, you're harshing their lawyer-fantasy buzz!

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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby leron » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:52 pm

just about any profession you go into will have the bell curve. 25% make less than stellar wages and 25% make exceptional wages with half lying in the middle. so 25% of lawyers make poor wages. so what. there are a lot of t3's and t4's out there to account for that. if you're that lower 25%, you probably know who you are already or you have a feeling but you hope it's not you. i think most of us on tls will not be that lower 25%. i'll start a poll in 3 years and a few months.

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General Tso
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:56 pm

[img]Distribution of Full-Time Salaries — Class of 2006

Image
Note: Graph is based on 22,884 salaries — for clarity, salaries above 200,000 are excluded from the graph, but not the percentage calculations shown on the y-axis.[/img]

http://www.nalp.org/2008jansalaries

Here ya go. NALP 2006 statistics. The median salary for new associates in private practice is now 62k nationally. Since 50% of new lawyers make 62k+, I dont see how we can conclude that 45-55k is "quite the rule" in CA or any other major legal market. This is based on a large sample, 22,000+ respondents. There is a bulge in the 30-50k range, but it accounts for less than half (44% I believe the article says) of new lawyers. And how many of those are lawyers in backwater, non-legal markets like those in Arkansas, Idaho, etc.?

How does that 8 out of 10 sub-55k in CA figure look to you now, snotrocket?

It's also interesting that the bulge of lawyers in the 30-50k range has diminished significantly since 1991.

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solo_lawyer
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:06 pm

you realize the data used to create that graph is false?

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General Tso
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby General Tso » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:07 pm

solo_lawyer wrote:you realize the data used to create that graph is false?


What you don't trust the NALP either? This isn't a law school salary survey. This is a lawyer salary survey

National
Association
of
Legal
Professionals

'04 Grad
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby '04 Grad » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:10 pm

swheat wrote:http://www.liberalarts.duq.edu/prelaw/pdf/HardCaseJobMarkets-092007.pdf

This pdf, which is a very pessimistic article about the state of the legal market, contains 2 pie graphs on page 7. These pie graphs are inflation adjusted (in 2005 dollars) salary quartiles for the Chicago legal market in 1975 and 1995. It shows how, when adjusted for inflation, the rich are getting richer and the poor, poorer.

In 1995, the lowest quartile (25%) of lawyers in Chicago earned $33k in 2005 dollars. The next lowest quartile earned $67k in 2005 dollars. The next quartile earned $106k, and the richest quartile earned 325k.

So 75% of lawyers in Chicago in 1995 earned, on average, 67k or more in 2005 dollars. Has competition increased since 1995? Certainly. Is the market more saturated now than then? Yes. Are 51% or more of Chicago lawyers making "30-55k" in 2009 dollars? Not likely.

I'll try to find more recent data. This is not the greatest evidence but it shows that even pessimistic articles are not as pessimistic as these guys on TLS.


These stats should scare the heck out of you. These aren't stats for starting salaries. These are salaries for lawyers which includes recent grads and people who have been in the profession for a long time.

'04 Grad
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby '04 Grad » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:11 pm

swheat wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:you realize the data used to create that graph is false?


What you don't trust the NALP either? This isn't a law school salary survey. This is a lawyer salary survey

National
Association
of
Legal
Professionals


:roll: Is reporting your salary mandatory for all practicing attorneys? Are there sanctions for reporting false information?

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solo_lawyer
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Re: USF - worth it for $120,000 in loans?

Postby solo_lawyer » Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:11 pm

swheat wrote:
solo_lawyer wrote:you realize the data used to create that graph is false?


What you don't trust the NALP either? This isn't a law school salary survey. This is a lawyer salary survey

National
Association
of
Legal
Professionals



You might wanna find out where they get their data.




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