drdolittle wrote: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.
I'm taking a chance by attending a school that, in the best of times, only placed about 12-15% in BigLaw jobs. I have the 'TLS requirements' for attending a T2: Scholarship, ties to the market the school is in, no dominant T14 school overshadowing the school in its home market, and I'm still worried. I don't even necessarily want to work in BigLaw again (I've worked in it as a paralegal for 2 years already), but having the option (in that market, or elsewhere) would be nice.
The legal market is known for being resilient, but this is a fairly unprecedented glut of new lawyers, coming out of schools that are spending endlessly to try and improve themselves and gain prestige. I have trouble believing that things will remain as bad as they are now, but I also do not believe there will be a return to 2004-2007 days of huge recruiting classes. And I echo all the previously mentioned 'you can't take statistics at face value' comments - I take that as a given at this point, thank you TLS.
Another point worth mentioning (and probably deserving of an entire thread) is the growing market abroad for graduates of American law schools. I'm thinking of East Asia, specifically. You will often not get paid market out of the gate, but I have known several fresh graduates who went straight to work abroad and are doing very well. Firms are still growing their offices and there are many offices of large firms here that have been busy to the point of being understaffed 24/7 since 2004. The recession was like a violent convulsion here, with tons of firings and hiring freezes, but it only lasted a few months. Many people went right back to work afterwards. Secondly, there's such a lack of ready-to-work talent that firms are rabidly protective of their young local associates and often forced to bring in skilled associates who have no connection with Asia at all just to keep the lights on. In terms of this market, I do not see that changing drastically. The problem is, it's a small, mostly self-selecting group, and the vast majority of fresh graduates aren't too excited about tromping off to Hong Kong, Shanghai, or Vietnam right after graduation. Additionally, and more personally, markets abroad tend to have an 'elite' feeling to them and non-T14 graduates, even ones who get offers, are often shut out of international offices. One lawyer told me I should "mortgage my entire life" if it meant going to a T20 school, because that was the only way I'd ever get back to Asia as a market-rate US associate.
Anyway, tl;dr, the economy in the US is almost as bad as the doomsayers claim and there are too many damn lawyers with outsized expectations, but the legal job market is expanding to other places, too.