Job prospects after school

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Chad
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Job prospects after school

Postby Chad » Sun May 02, 2010 1:53 pm

I'm applying to law school this upcoming fall, but recently read an article in the Chicago Tribune that stopped me cold.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-04-27/business/ct-biz-0427-chicago-law-students--20100427_1_law-school-law-firms-national-law-journal

The rundown, for those who hate following links, is that most biglaw firms are cutting back in both pay and new associate hires due to the recession. Because tuition has been increasing beyond all reason and control over the past 20 years, you stand a good chance of ending up destitute because of massive loans and no way to get a high-paying job to pay them back. Northwestern had the highest % of graduates entering biglaw at just 55%.

I'm actually leaving graduate school because the opportunities for someone with a degree in research are pretty much non-existent outside of academia, and are drying up rapidly even within the university setting. I was worried I was specializing in something that was going to leave me overworked and underpaid, but now I'm worried law school might lead me to the same end as grad school.

Do any recent or soon-to-be graduates have an opinion on this? Is it really so hard to find work after law school, and do any of you regret taking on those massive loans?

270910
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby 270910 » Sun May 02, 2010 2:41 pm

Chad wrote:I'm applying to law school this upcoming fall, but recently read an article in the Chicago Tribune that stopped me cold.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-04-27/business/ct-biz-0427-chicago-law-students--20100427_1_law-school-law-firms-national-law-journal

The rundown, for those who hate following links, is that most biglaw firms are cutting back in both pay and new associate hires due to the recession. Because tuition has been increasing beyond all reason and control over the past 20 years, you stand a good chance of ending up destitute because of massive loans and no way to get a high-paying job to pay them back. Northwestern had the highest % of graduates entering biglaw at just 55%.

I'm actually leaving graduate school because the opportunities for someone with a degree in research are pretty much non-existent outside of academia, and are drying up rapidly even within the university setting. I was worried I was specializing in something that was going to leave me overworked and underpaid, but now I'm worried law school might lead me to the same end as grad school.

Do any recent or soon-to-be graduates have an opinion on this? Is it really so hard to find work after law school, and do any of you regret taking on those massive loans?


Depends on the school.

HYS: No problems. I mean not as rosey as back in the day, but still completely employable.
CCN: Still doing well, majority of class likely to be in good shape
MVPB: Without more collpase, probably still 50-60%+ of the class will see opportunities not dissimilar to pre-crash times (6 figure starting salaries, clerkships, etc.)
DNCG: Might be closer to 30-50%, reports still out
Below that: DANGER WILL ROBINSON
Outside of the T25/Fordham type schools: In terms of career prospects at big firms, it was a horrible investment unlikely to pay off even before the crash.

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Grizz
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby Grizz » Sun May 02, 2010 2:44 pm

Don't pay sticker outside the top schools (some say T6, others T10, others T12, others T18) and it can still be a decent investment. For comparison, I'm going to Vandy with $72k, which had increased ITE to 47% NLJ250 last year, so I'm confident in my investment.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby Kilpatrick » Sun May 02, 2010 2:53 pm

Haha, you just now read something on this? Welcome to ITE I guess.

270910
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby 270910 » Sun May 02, 2010 2:57 pm

rad law wrote:Don't pay sticker outside the top schools (some say T6, others T10, others T12, others T18) and it can still be a decent investment. For comparison, I'm going to Vandy with $72k, which placed 47% of its class into big firm jobs two years ago before the financial apocalypse hit, so I'm confident in my investment.


Fixed that for you. CHECK YOU DATA.

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SteelReserve
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby SteelReserve » Sun May 02, 2010 3:38 pm

I believe disco_barred's original statement should be stickied at the top of this forum as well as the Law School Admissions forum. Moderators, please comply with this request.

Love,

SteelReserve

As for Chad, unless you get into one of the aforementioned schools it is not at all clear that your job prospects with a law degree will be that much better. You should already have learned the lesson that advanced degree does not equal job prospects based on your experience with your research degree.

You should really only do this if you want to be a lawyer; make your decision based on what your employment goals are and how the school matches up with those goals; what kind of scholarships you will receive; how much your monthly loan payments will be; how you will be able to afford (or not afford) a certain quality of life in light of those loan payments.

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Grizz
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby Grizz » Sun May 02, 2010 3:46 pm

Here is a nice flow chart which is indespensable for deciding if law school is right for you.





Image

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gochrisgo
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby gochrisgo » Sun May 02, 2010 3:54 pm

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Last edited by gochrisgo on Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby Kilpatrick » Sun May 02, 2010 3:56 pm

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Last edited by Kilpatrick on Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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tintin
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby tintin » Sun May 02, 2010 3:57 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol:

acdisagod
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby acdisagod » Sun May 02, 2010 4:19 pm

Love the chart, but many ppl on TLS seem to even think that it is too optimistic. Many ppl probably think I'm making a bad investment by paying sticker at a lower top 14.

270910
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby 270910 » Sun May 02, 2010 4:24 pm

acdisagod wrote:Love the chart, but many ppl on TLS seem to even think that it is too optimistic. Many ppl probably think I'm making a bad investment by paying sticker at a lower top 14.


Not at all. It's completely reasonable to pay sticker all the way down to Georgetown and probably a little below.

30% chance at big law is still a huge fucking payday compared to the salary most people have a reasonable shot at pre-law. And at schools like Georgetown even if you miss the giant salary you will still have enormous opportunities after law school and connection to a powerful, wealthy, intelligent alumni base.

Basically, the downside to a T14 stings a whole hell of a lot less for your career than the downside to a T2/3/4, and the T14 also has a much greater chance of you escaping that downside.

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Kilpatrick
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby Kilpatrick » Sun May 02, 2010 4:33 pm

acdisagod wrote:Love the chart, but many ppl on TLS seem to even think that it is too optimistic. Many ppl probably think I'm making a bad investment by paying sticker at a lower top 14.


Well to be fair that chart was made years ago, before the economy tanked.

Edit: Not saying I agree with those people though. I would pay sticker and part with an appendage or two to get T14 right now.

RPK34
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby RPK34 » Sun May 02, 2010 4:38 pm

disco_barred wrote:
acdisagod wrote:Love the chart, but many ppl on TLS seem to even think that it is too optimistic. Many ppl probably think I'm making a bad investment by paying sticker at a lower top 14.


Not at all. It's completely reasonable to pay sticker all the way down to Georgetown and probably a little below.

30% chance at big law is still a huge fucking payday compared to the salary most people have a reasonable shot at pre-law. And at schools like Georgetown even if you miss the giant salary you will still have enormous opportunities after law school and connection to a powerful, wealthy, intelligent alumni base.

Basically, the downside to a T14 stings a whole hell of a lot less for your career than the downside to a T2/3/4, and the T14 also has a much greater chance of you escaping that downside.


It also depends on what your major is. If you're major is English, philosophy, posc, sociology, and you're facing a 35K salary without much advancement, it can make a lot more sense. If you have decent career opportunities, it's a lot a harder to justify.

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gochrisgo
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby gochrisgo » Sun May 02, 2010 5:13 pm

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Last edited by gochrisgo on Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

09042014
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby 09042014 » Sun May 02, 2010 6:11 pm

gochrisgo wrote:
RPK34 wrote:It also depends on what your major is. If you're major is English, philosophy, posc, sociology, and you're facing a 35K salary without much advancement, it can make a lot more sense. If you have decent career opportunities, it's a lot a harder to justify.

You just described my life, but with a 2 instead of a 3. In Cali. I think I'd be an idiot not to go to LS.


Get a job in a company, move up by working hard. Very few professions start off banking money with just a degree. And for most law students, law is not one either.

I hope you are going to a t13.

miamiman
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby miamiman » Sun May 02, 2010 7:48 pm

Have there been any firm signals, good or bad, as to where legal recruiting is tending for fall?

270910
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby 270910 » Sun May 02, 2010 8:31 pm

miamiman wrote:Have there been any firm signals, good or bad, as to where legal recruiting is tending for fall?


All signals point to up, but no signals point to dramatically.

More firms are coming to OCI, lateral hiring has picked up, there have been scattered anecdotal reports of over-worked associates and a general feeling that firms cut back too much / have too few young associates, with worry that they will abandon ship as soon as they can given the decrease in trust, plus generally solid revenue and profits per partner numbers considering the down turn. Add to that an influx of big projects with things like the goldman sachs litigation and new federal regulations.

Now, all of that combined still doesn't mean NY TO 190 LET'S PARTY LIKE IT'S 2006, but it does mean that the carnage of c/o 2011 OCI is unlikely to be repeated. Of course, nobody knows exactly how '10 and '11 did across the board so we don't have a hell of a lot to go on...

miamiman
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby miamiman » Sun May 02, 2010 8:42 pm

Yah. I think the ATL sentiment has been firms were overzealous in the rise and equally chicken little in the decline.



Also, edit to the above. I meant "trending" not "tending"

Anonymous User
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby Anonymous User » Sun May 02, 2010 9:04 pm

Top 15 3L here.

If you want something that is perpetually in demand, find a career in the health professions, like Nursing, Physician's Assistant et al.

Law school is a crapshoot even if you go to a good school because the legal market is changing. I guess the folks at HYS might be safe but for the rest of us (even at top 15-20 schools), it doesn't look pretty. Law has been an overcrowded profession for many years, even before the economy went bust. A new law grad just doesn't have much in the way of practical job skills - you learn on the job - and competition for any decent job (not just big firms jobs) is insane. And trying to find a job outside the law with a law degree is usually difficult because employers don't want employees that are overqualified or they think will leave as soon as a law related job pops up.

My prediction is that things will get better but it will continue to be difficult for most new lawyers to enter the profession and get any kind of decent, secure living and pay down loans. Big firms are probably going to permanently move to smaller classes of associates, staff work with less attorneys, and increase things like outsourcing and contract/temp attorneys. That means competition for anything else will continue to be very tough.

One thing is certain though - law school tuition will continue to go up. If you are looking for an easy route to an secure, upper middle class lifestyle, law isn't it.

rg0521
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby rg0521 » Sun May 02, 2010 9:31 pm

Chad wrote:Do any recent or soon-to-be graduates have an opinion on this? Is it really so hard to find work after law school, and do any of you regret taking on those massive loans?


Frankly, even if you do find high-paying work, the full debt load ($150k-$200k) is a lot to carry.

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gochrisgo
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby gochrisgo » Mon May 03, 2010 3:25 am

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Last edited by gochrisgo on Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

motiontodismiss
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby motiontodismiss » Mon May 03, 2010 4:10 am

disco_barred wrote:
Now, all of that combined still doesn't mean NY TO 190 LET'S PARTY LIKE IT'S 2006, but it does mean that the carnage of c/o 2011 OCI is unlikely to be repeated. Of course, nobody knows exactly how '10 and '11 did across the board so we don't have a hell of a lot to go on...


If the economy picks up I think NY will go to 175 before the end of the decade. I mean Boies Schiller already pays 174 (fwiw I read this on above the law I think so it may not be accurate)...

LateNight
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby LateNight » Mon May 03, 2010 5:16 am

IRS or BUST!

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A'nold
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Re: Job prospects after school

Postby A'nold » Mon May 03, 2010 5:24 am

Lol at making 35k. Try 15k.




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