How bad are things...really?

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Fark-o-vision
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How bad are things...really?

Postby Fark-o-vision » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:03 am

I've been trying to get a good handle on this, but I'm having some difficulty. If I accept that biglaw has dried up to a large extent, but that a bad economy also doesn't necessarily mean a severe reduction in legal work, then I have to assume that it is the type of work being reduced. Therefore midlaw (which may not exist) and shitlaw take over. Salaries go down, the work is terrible, and everyone is unhappy, but employed.

One chart I've seen a lot of around here, in regards to the doom and gloom, is that there are 30,000 new legal jobs every year, but 45,000 new attorneys. Is that number including attrition, or is purely economic growth? Even if retirees are counted, can't we basically discount the entire five hundred person classes at law schools like Pheonix, Whittier, and California Southern University? There have to be 5-10K that can be written right there.

Where am I wrong? I understand the jobs may suck, or at least not be optimal, but with minimized debt at schools that seem to do all right, what's the big deal?

P.S. Actually not trying to flame, although it feels suspiciously to myself like I am. It's just that all the available information that gets passed around here actually seems to indicate that thing are all right, less than ideal, but all right, at most tier 1 and 2 schools.

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James Bond
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby James Bond » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:05 am

Shitty economy with slower hiring is real. The fact that people get waaaaaay too worked up and overly pessimistic about it is real too. Also, the level of annoyance these "economy threads" bring is quite real as well.

Locke N. Lawded
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby Locke N. Lawded » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:09 am

Here's the problem: the bulk of the information floating around here is not posted by grads, but by current students who have a problem with facing reality.

It's not just the economy, the legal profession has been changing for the last several years and it's only because the T-14 is finally having to deal with it that the media is finally picking up on the downward trend in the legal industry.

The numbers you quote are all wrong and outdated...go to NALP for the most recent numbers, and then ask yourself how accurate these numbers can be when all the law schools, the bar associations, and NALP itself have a vested interest in keeping the gravy train going.

Schools self report, so you can't trust stats. NALP bases its number on flawed stats it gets from schools.

Do a Google search for "law school scam blog" and you will find tons of folks telling it like it is. When kids from the top schools don't all have jobs, where do you think that leaves everyone else? Unemployed or working some other job to make ends meet (full disclosure...working in sales because the market I live in is saturated--and I was on law review).

Fark-o-vision
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby Fark-o-vision » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:12 am

That may be why this feels like a flame, even to me. It just seems like even when people pull out their hiring charts and graphs that things don't look that bad. Man, I wish Gran Tourismo 5:Prologue would finish loading on my PS3.

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romothesavior
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:12 am

James Bond wrote:Shitty economy with slower hiring is real. The fact that people get waaaaaay too worked up and overly pessimistic about it is real too. Also, the level of annoyance these "economy threads" bring is quite real as well.


+1 to all of this. There are tons of threads dealing with this. Read them.

Obviously things will vary from school to school and from market to market. I'd talk to some students at your potential school, talk to their career services office, look at the statistics (not the ones the school provide), talk to some lawyers in the area in the field you want to go into, read Above the Law, etc.

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romothesavior
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:13 am

Also, a lot of students are having to take biglaw hours for 40-50k. Does that sound appealing to you?

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prezidentv8
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby prezidentv8 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:14 am

romothesavior wrote:
James Bond wrote:Shitty economy with slower hiring is real. The fact that people get waaaaaay too worked up and overly pessimistic about it is real too. Also, the level of annoyance these "economy threads" bring is quite real as well.


+1 to all of this. There are tons of threads dealing with this. Read them.

Obviously things will vary from school to school and from market to market. I'd talk to some students at your potential school, talk to their career services office, look at the statistics (not the ones the school provide), talk to some lawyers in the area in the field you want to go into, read Above the Law, etc.


Yeah, I'm gonna agree but I'm also here in case this thread again results in meme postings.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby Fark-o-vision » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:16 am

romothesavior wrote:
James Bond wrote:Shitty economy with slower hiring is real. The fact that people get waaaaaay too worked up and overly pessimistic about it is real too. Also, the level of annoyance these "economy threads" bring is quite real as well.


+1 to all of this. There are tons of threads dealing with this. Read them.

Obviously things will vary from school to school and from market to market. I'd talk to some students at your potential school, talk to their career services office, look at the statistics (not the ones the school provide), talk to some lawyers in the area in the field you want to go into, read Above the Law, etc.


That's sort of the problem. I've looked through those threads and nothing seems to warrant the pessimism. It does seem to suggest that a 60% at something good at UCLA might not be worth sticker if I can a 30% at Loyola (or Pepperdine, San Diego, et. al.) for opportunity cost. Maybe I'm used to being in a field where fighting for a job is the status quo. Or maybe the poor reporting.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby Fark-o-vision » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:21 am

prezidentv8 wrote:
romothesavior wrote:
James Bond wrote:Shitty economy with slower hiring is real. The fact that people get waaaaaay too worked up and overly pessimistic about it is real too. Also, the level of annoyance these "economy threads" bring is quite real as well.


+1 to all of this. There are tons of threads dealing with this. Read them.

Obviously things will vary from school to school and from market to market. I'd talk to some students at your potential school, talk to their career services office, look at the statistics (not the ones the school provide), talk to some lawyers in the area in the field you want to go into, read Above the Law, etc.


Yeah, I'm gonna agree but I'm also here in case this thread again results in meme postings.


That would be an unintended, and somewhat undesirable, outcome this time. Seriously, though, I think I got my answer from Locked n' Lawded. Prior to that I'd always been led to believe the NLJ numbers were reliable. If they aren't, then the pessimism makes a lot more sense.

Still, internet, do your thing. Being intentionally abused for sport is more fun when you're behind it, but who am I to deny you your yucks?

Locke N. Lawded
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby Locke N. Lawded » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:24 am

romothesavior wrote:Also, a lot of students are having to take biglaw hours for 40-50k. Does that sound appealing to you?


This is credited. Just heard from a 2009 grad who was on law review who only just found a job in insurance defense for under $50K and the billable hours requirement is 2300 hours....

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romothesavior
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:32 am

Locke N. Lawded wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Also, a lot of students are having to take biglaw hours for 40-50k. Does that sound appealing to you?


This is credited. Just heard from a 2009 grad who was on law review who only just found a job in insurance defense for under $50K and the billable hours requirement is 2300 hours....


Where did he/she go to school

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Always Credited
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby Always Credited » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:35 am

romothesavior wrote:
Locke N. Lawded wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Also, a lot of students are having to take biglaw hours for 40-50k. Does that sound appealing to you?


This is credited. Just heard from a 2009 grad who was on law review who only just found a job in insurance defense for under $50K and the billable hours requirement is 2300 hours....


Where did he/she go to school


I'd like to know where Locke went to school.

Locke N. Lawded
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby Locke N. Lawded » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:36 am

romothesavior wrote:
Locke N. Lawded wrote:
romothesavior wrote:Also, a lot of students are having to take biglaw hours for 40-50k. Does that sound appealing to you?


This is credited. Just heard from a 2009 grad who was on law review who only just found a job in insurance defense for under $50K and the billable hours requirement is 2300 hours....


Where did he/she go to school


DePaul...admittedly T2, but pretty much on equal footing with Kent and Loyola in the Chicago Market. Top 10% used to be a lock for BigLaw...now it's shitlaw if they're lucky. The rest of the class is struggling.

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romothesavior
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:39 am

I wouldn't go to DePaul/Loyola/Chicago Kent on anything less than a full-ride, and even then I don't think I would. Expensive COL, a very limited degree, and the Chicago market is struggling big time right now.


Locke N. Lawded
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby Locke N. Lawded » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:42 am

romothesavior wrote:I wouldn't go to DePaul/Loyola/Chicago Kent on anything less than a full-ride, and even then I don't think I would. Expensive COL, a very limited degree, and the Chicago market is struggling big time right now.


Agree 100%. Anyone considering law school in Chicago that isn't NU or UC, forget it.

Fark-o-vision
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby Fark-o-vision » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:44 am

Maybe that is the question I'm really getting at. Everyone says they wouldn't go to schools like that with less than a full ride, but what if you were getting a full ride? Would you take your chances at those schools, or pay sticker UIUC?

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romothesavior
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby romothesavior » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:47 am



Dude, you're preaching the the choir. The vast majority of TLS posters are 1) students or 2) educated 0Ls. We know how bad the economy is, and giving us bleak examples from overpriced T2s like DePaul or schools like Miami doesn't really enlighten anyone.

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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby Locke N. Lawded » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:48 am

Fark-o-vision wrote:Maybe that is the question I'm really getting at. Everyone says they wouldn't go to schools like that with less than a full ride, but what if you were getting a full ride? Would you take your chances at those schools, or pay sticker UIUC?


Full ride is fine...but make sure you are fully aware of the requirements. At DePaul/Loyola/Kent, there are wicked curves and they will require you to keep a very high GPA that is difficult to obtain when the schools game the odds by packing all the scholarship kids in the same section so that only a fraction of them keep their scholarships, and that typically means these students can't transfer out. At that point, you have to pay full price and you are stuck either dropping out (with a resume gap that is hard to overcome) or plodding along and hoping for the best.

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drdolittle
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby drdolittle » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:52 am

There are probably thousands of posts on TLS asking basically this question. The consensus seems to be that the safest thing is to go to the substantially highest ranked school you get into, even if costs significantly more. In the long run, it'll be worth it. I'm hoping it will be...

Fark-o-vision
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby Fark-o-vision » Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:56 am

Well, that is where the NLJ stats come in. I wouldn't have asked if I hadn't seen those. Previous posts had led me to believe that the NLJ stats were at least mildly reliable. Looking over that data, and the job data, it seemed to make an overwhelming amount of sense to choose a school like Loyola Marymount on a full-ride over a school like UCLA at sticker. What I was looking for was clarification of the data, not the normal TLS response (which I'm aware of). That NLJ numbers are also unreliable makes this whole thread pointless.

I did earn 40,000 Cr. on Gran Tourismo while we were discussing. If anyone cares.

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drdolittle
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby drdolittle » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:07 am

Fark-o-vision wrote:Well, that is where the NLJ stats come in. I wouldn't have asked if I hadn't seen those. Previous posts had led me to believe that the NLJ stats were at least mildly reliable. Looking over that data, and the job data, it seemed to make an overwhelming amount of sense to choose a school like Loyola Marymount on a full-ride over a school like UCLA at sticker. What I was looking for was clarification of the data, not the normal TLS response (which I'm aware of). That NLJ numbers are also unreliable makes this whole thread pointless.

I did earn 40,000 Cr. on Gran Tourismo while we were discussing. If anyone cares.


Well, then my apologies for giving you the normal TLS response (which evidently you were aware of). Just trying to help since your original posts gave me the impression that you're over-thinking something we all are pretty clueless about, frankly.

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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby Fark-o-vision » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:10 am

drdolittle wrote:
Fark-o-vision wrote:Well, that is where the NLJ stats come in. I wouldn't have asked if I hadn't seen those. Previous posts had led me to believe that the NLJ stats were at least mildly reliable. Looking over that data, and the job data, it seemed to make an overwhelming amount of sense to choose a school like Loyola Marymount on a full-ride over a school like UCLA at sticker. What I was looking for was clarification of the data, not the normal TLS response (which I'm aware of). That NLJ numbers are also unreliable makes this whole thread pointless.

I did earn 40,000 Cr. on Gran Tourismo while we were discussing. If anyone cares.


Well, then my apologies for giving you the normal TLS response (which evidently you were aware of). Just trying to help since your original posts gave me the impression that you're over-thinking something we all are pretty clueless about, frankly.


Couldn't agree more. Nice.

Sorry, but I'm the type who feels (even though I know better) that there must be an answer. That there really isn't an answer in this situation makes me, from time to time, uncomfortable. However, I did learn something really valuable in this thread, so that makes it minimally successful.

I didn't mean to minimize your contribution, only to suggest that I'd done the minimum (if nothing more) leg work.

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thesealocust
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby thesealocust » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:13 am

edit: n/m
Last edited by thesealocust on Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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drdolittle
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Re: How bad are things...really?

Postby drdolittle » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:39 am

Fark-o-vision wrote:
drdolittle wrote:Well, then my apologies for giving you the normal TLS response (which evidently you were aware of). Just trying to help since your original posts gave me the impression that you're over-thinking something we all are pretty clueless about, frankly.


Couldn't agree more. Nice.

Sorry, but I'm the type who feels (even though I know better) that there must be an answer. That there really isn't an answer in this situation makes me, from time to time, uncomfortable. However, I did learn something really valuable in this thread, so that makes it minimally successful.

I didn't mean to minimize your contribution, only to suggest that I'd done the minimum (if nothing more) leg work.


I definitely had (and have) the same underlying concerns. I've also tried looking at the hiring stats, reading TLS, writing current students, etc., to get a clear answer and failed. So I'm resigned to make a decision based on ranking, which is beginning to make better sense as I read more of TLS.




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