Will legal career prospects level out?

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
jason8821
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:42 am

Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby jason8821 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:17 am

I am curious as to whether or not the career prospects for future lawyer will likely level out. Like many young adults who look at schooling as an endeavor that should result in a positive ROI, I constantly question whether or not law school is a dangerous decision that I gravitate toward as a result of my upbringing and the herd mentality.

My question in short is will people stop applying to law school because there has been a proliferation of "Don't do it" all over the internet and lawyers who are publicly announcing that they graduated from t1 or even t-14 with 200k in loans an cannot find jobs. In my own personal experience this has already started. I know at least a few people who were very intelligent in college but have opted to take work experience over trying to immediately get into law school? If enough bad news spreads do you think this will eventually lead to people who go a different route and allow more legal jobs to open up for those who really want it or do you believe that people will constantly gravitate toward the prestige of a J.D's until there is such an oversupply of lawyers that only the most elite make a decent living?

It doesn't make sense that someone should have to be in the upper 2% in a career field with a top 15 median salary to have a job that will even scrape six figures in their earlier years, but I guess that's the way it is.

eudaimondaimon
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:57 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby eudaimondaimon » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:21 am

jason8821 wrote:If enough bad news spreads do you think this will eventually lead to people who go a different route and allow more legal jobs to open up for those who really want it.....


Yes I do. I was *nearly* dissuaded by such bad news. it was only after realizing that I simply would not be happy doing anything else that I decided to actually go through with it.

It doesn't make sense that someone should have to be in the upper 2% in a career field with a top 15 median salary to have a job that will even scrape six figures in their earlier years, but I guess that's the way it is.


Why doesn't this make sense?

jason8821
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:42 am

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby jason8821 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:27 am

Thanks for the response.

It doesn't make sense because it seems as though 2% of college graduates from any university will be making that within a few years out. They will not have went through the rigors of law school, and the huge tuition bill. All other careers in that top 15; albeit a more secure sector such as healthcare will allow more like 50% of graduates to obtain a job that pays 6 figures including pharmacists who have less schooling. Probably more like 10% of engineers will make that money within a few years, and accountants the same, all with less education. These of course are arbitrary figures, but I feel they are pretty close to accurate.

User avatar
chadwick218
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:15 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:33 am

If by level out, you mean improve; I do not believe that they will. Much like public accounting and management consulting, I believe that we are seeing a paradigm shift in the way that firms are managed. I think that we are seeing a changing in the underlying business model. There are a number of very well written law review articles supporting this assertion.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:35 am

chadwick218 wrote:If by level out, you mean improve; I do not believe that they will. Much like public accounting and management consulting, I believe that we are seeing a paradigm shift in the way that firms are managed. I think that we are seeing a changing in the underlying business model. There are a number of very well written law review articles supporting this assertion.


I thought accounting was experiencing a huge spike in job prospects, or is it different for them?

User avatar
T14_Scholly
Posts: 416
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:46 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby T14_Scholly » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:39 am

chadwick218 wrote:If by level out, you mean improve; I do not believe that they will. Much like public accounting and management consulting, I believe that we are seeing a paradigm shift in the way that firms are managed. I think that we are seeing a changing in the underlying business model. There are a number of very well written law review articles supporting this assertion.


Well if they're well written, they must be correct.

User avatar
chadwick218
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:15 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:40 am

Anonymous User wrote:
chadwick218 wrote:If by level out, you mean improve; I do not believe that they will. Much like public accounting and management consulting, I believe that we are seeing a paradigm shift in the way that firms are managed. I think that we are seeing a changing in the underlying business model. There are a number of very well written law review articles supporting this assertion.


I thought accounting was experiencing a huge spike in job prospects, or is it different for them?


There has been a major pull back in hiring in recent years. W/r/t the audit practices of the big four firms, significant revenues as in the early years from 404 are largely gone and the convergance of U.S. GAAP and IFRS still seems to be off in the distance. The firms have are trending away from this "people first" mentality and trending back to the days of mandatory billable hours. Partners became accustomed to inflated salaries and to maintain this, the firms must operate and lean as possible.

User avatar
chadwick218
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:15 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:42 am

T14_Scholly wrote:
chadwick218 wrote:If by level out, you mean improve; I do not believe that they will. Much like public accounting and management consulting, I believe that we are seeing a paradigm shift in the way that firms are managed. I think that we are seeing a changing in the underlying business model. There are a number of very well written law review articles supporting this assertion.


Well if they're well written, they must be correct.


I never said that they were correct. Indeed, many scholarly articles are not "correct" per se, but are aimed at fleshing out thought provoking ideas as a means of answering the many questions of the universe.

jason8821
Posts: 212
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:42 am

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby jason8821 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:44 am

shit, it looks like pharmacist is the best deal hands down for those interested in good pay/job security/reasonable hours. I cannot think of one other job that seems to place people in a such an advantageous position, but I would hate my job.

User avatar
T14_Scholly
Posts: 416
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:46 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby T14_Scholly » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:50 am

chadwick218 wrote:
T14_Scholly wrote:
chadwick218 wrote:If by level out, you mean improve; I do not believe that they will. Much like public accounting and management consulting, I believe that we are seeing a paradigm shift in the way that firms are managed. I think that we are seeing a changing in the underlying business model. There are a number of very well written law review articles supporting this assertion.


Well if they're well written, they must be correct.


I never said that they were correct. Indeed, many scholarly articles are not "correct" per se, but are aimed at fleshing out thought provoking ideas as a means of answering the many questions of the universe.


You implied that they're correct. You said they support an assertion that you also support.

eudaimondaimon
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:57 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby eudaimondaimon » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:52 am

jason8821 wrote:Thanks for the response.

It doesn't make sense because it seems as though 2% of college graduates from any university will be making that within a few years out. They will not have went through the rigors of law school, and the huge tuition bill. All other careers in that top 15; albeit a more secure sector such as healthcare will allow more like 50% of graduates to obtain a job that pays 6 figures including pharmacists who have less schooling. Probably more like 10% of engineers will make that money within a few years, and accountants the same, all with less education. These of course are arbitrary figures, but I feel they are pretty close to accurate.


Your figures are very arbitrary and I think that is actually making your point more difficultly conveyed. But what you seem to be getting at is that a greater proportion of lawyers go to greater lengths and at greater expense in order that a relative few receive the same monetary benefit as those in other fields. I don't see anything about this that fails to make sense. I think what you're meaning is that it doesn't seem fair.

User avatar
phoenix323
Posts: 348
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:01 am

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby phoenix323 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:52 am

chadwick218 wrote:If by level out, you mean improve; I do not believe that they will. Much like public accounting and management consulting, I believe that we are seeing a paradigm shift in the way that firms are managed. I think that we are seeing a changing in the underlying business model. There are a number of very well written law review articles supporting this assertion.



What, in your opinion, will be the result of this paradigm shift? What kind of business model are law firms moving toward? I am just curious. I find this thread to be very interesting so far.

Thanks!
Last edited by phoenix323 on Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
chadwick218
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:15 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:56 am

T14_Scholly wrote:
chadwick218 wrote:
T14_Scholly wrote:
chadwick218 wrote:If by level out, you mean improve; I do not believe that they will. Much like public accounting and management consulting, I believe that we are seeing a paradigm shift in the way that firms are managed. I think that we are seeing a changing in the underlying business model. There are a number of very well written law review articles supporting this assertion.


Well if they're well written, they must be correct.


I never said that they were correct. Indeed, many scholarly articles are not "correct" per se, but are aimed at fleshing out thought provoking ideas as a means of answering the many questions of the universe.


You implied that they're correct. You said they support an assertion that you also support.


Although they support an assertion, that does not imply that they are "correct." I can find support for a plethora of assertions, but that does not imply that the assertions themselves correct at the end of the day. Granted, I find these articles to be particularly convincing, but the assertions are nevertheless still up for debate. Indeed, a scholarly article that wasn't up for debtate would be a pretty poor article to begin with because it would be merely presenting the true state of the world as accepted by all.

User avatar
T14_Scholly
Posts: 416
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:46 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby T14_Scholly » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:00 am

chadwick218 wrote:Although they support an assertion, that does not imply that they are "correct." I can find support for a plethora of assertions, but that does not imply that the assertions themselves correct at the end of the day. Granted, I find these articles to be particularly convincing, but the assertions are nevertheless still up for debate. Indeed, a scholarly article that wasn't up for debtate would be a pretty poor article to begin with because it would be merely presenting the true state of the world as accepted by all.


Perhaps I shouldn't use the word "correct," but my point is that they're not supportive of the assertion by virtue of the fact that they're well written, as you implied.

miamiman
Posts: 1486
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:55 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby miamiman » Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:53 am

Call me hopelessly self-invested and biased. Call me wonderfully naive. But, I refuse to believe that the landscape of legal hiring this past year - in the worst downturn in legal services that our generation and our parents' generation has experienced - is going to be representative moving forward.

Will there by systemic changes? Yes, I think so. But, ultimately, I believe there will be a renewed need for junior associates.

User avatar
brigun
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:13 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby brigun » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:44 am

miamiman wrote:Call me hopelessly self-invested and biased. Call me wonderfully naive. But, I refuse to believe that the landscape of legal hiring this past year - in the worst downturn in legal services that our generation and our parents' generation has experienced - is going to be representative moving forward.

Will there by systemic changes? Yes, I think so. But, ultimately, I believe there will be a renewed need for junior associates.



You're just hopelessly self-invested and biased, and a bit wonderfully(?) naive. :twisted:

User avatar
RVP11
Posts: 2774
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby RVP11 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:49 am

I don't know about "leveling out" but I don't think BigLaw hiring will get any worse than it was for class of 2011 OCI. I expect a tiny improvement for 2012 and 2013.

User avatar
chadwick218
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:15 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:16 am

JSUVA2012 wrote:I don't know about "leveling out" but I don't think BigLaw hiring will get any worse than it was for class of 2011 OCI. I expect a tiny improvement for 2012 and 2013.


Over the past week, NU has brought in a couple of managing partners from local firms. While all seemed to believe that things wouldn't be worse than they were for c/o 2011, they all seemed to think that we would only see a modest uptick in hiring in the coming years.

User avatar
RVP11
Posts: 2774
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:32 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby RVP11 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:36 am

chadwick218 wrote:
JSUVA2012 wrote:I don't know about "leveling out" but I don't think BigLaw hiring will get any worse than it was for class of 2011 OCI. I expect a tiny improvement for 2012 and 2013.


Over the past week, NU has brought in a couple of managing partners from local firms. While all seemed to believe that things wouldn't be worse than they were for c/o 2011, they all seemed to think that we would only see a modest uptick in hiring in the coming years.


Yep. Sounds about right.

Things aren't really going to be getting better. But firms aren't hitting the panic buttons anymore, so deferrals and no-offers should be rare, and the classes of 2012/2013 won't be dealing with the same deferred associate backlog and lack of information with which to pick OCI bids that really screwed 2011 over.

eudaimondaimon
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:57 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby eudaimondaimon » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:15 pm

JSUVA2012 wrote:Yep. Sounds about right.

Things aren't really going to be getting better. But firms aren't hitting the panic buttons anymore, so deferrals and no-offers should be rare, and the classes of 2012/2013 won't be dealing with the same deferred associate backlog and lack of information with which to pick OCI bids that really screwed 2011 over.


As someone with a very lay opinion of this particular situation, I'm inclined to agree with you. But may I add that the field differs not at all from the economy as a whole. We may be facing a permanent adjustment to a greater degree of unemployment. However I do not see this as necessarily a bad thing, nor do I see full-employment as necessarily a good thing.

User avatar
chadwick218
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 10:15 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby chadwick218 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:18 pm

eudaimondaimon wrote:As someone with a very lay opinion of this particular situation, I'm inclined to agree with you. But may I add that the field differs not at all from the economy as a whole. We may be facing a permanent adjustment to a greater degree of unemployment. However I do not see this as necessarily a bad thing, nor do I see full-employment as necessarily a good thing.


I think that structurally, the field does differ a bit from the economy as a whole. I think that we are seeing a slight shift in the underlying business model.

miamiman
Posts: 1486
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:55 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby miamiman » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:20 pm

Chadwick, which firms? And did any of the firms say they would be hiring aggressively/lowering headcount aggressively?

eudaimondaimon
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 9:57 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby eudaimondaimon » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:22 pm

chadwick218 wrote:I think that structurally, the field does differ a bit from the economy as a whole. I think that we are seeing a slight shift in the underlying business model.


If you could elaborate a bit it'd give me a much greater degree of understanding of exactly what you mean.

User avatar
crazycanuck
Posts: 3041
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:04 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby crazycanuck » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:24 pm

There is nothing wrong with having to be at the top of your class to get a 100k+ starting salary. What is wrong is schools charging 45k+ per year for tuition.

It's not the legal market that's the problem, it's the tuition prices.

User avatar
crazycanuck
Posts: 3041
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:04 pm

Re: Will legal career prospects level out?

Postby crazycanuck » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:26 pm

chadwick218 wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
chadwick218 wrote:If by level out, you mean improve; I do not believe that they will. Much like public accounting and management consulting, I believe that we are seeing a paradigm shift in the way that firms are managed. I think that we are seeing a changing in the underlying business model. There are a number of very well written law review articles supporting this assertion.


I thought accounting was experiencing a huge spike in job prospects, or is it different for them?


There has been a major pull back in hiring in recent years. W/r/t the audit practices of the big four firms, significant revenues as in the early years from 404 are largely gone and the convergance of U.S. GAAP and IFRS still seems to be off in the distance. The firms have are trending away from this "people first" mentality and trending back to the days of mandatory billable hours. Partners became accustomed to inflated salaries and to maintain this, the firms must operate and lean as possible.


This differs by office. I work at a big 4, my mandatory weekly billable is 30 hours/week.




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.