Question about the struggling legal market.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:51 pm

I thought about writing the following in a longer, self-contained thread but I suppose this is as adequate an opportunity as any.

Bottom-line: I really think people need to think long and hard about the prospect of attending a school outside of the T10 -- T6 really. I'm a median student at CCN who just barely got a job in Chicago, despite above-average interviewing, work-experience, and other intangibles. I had another offer in my hometown (a true tertiary market) but was essentially shut out of that market as well. Oh, and for the record (and not that the prior poster's point merits further commentary), but I have a parent who works BigLaw in that secondary market and who knows a heavy-hitter at each of the firms I applied at (and to which I was later rejected). So the "just know somebody" tagline is hilariously wrong ITE.

Additionally, and even though my school putatively has done quite well, I know students on both ends of the curve who targeted not only primaries but secondaries (for which they had a "tie") and came up empty-handed. Some of these students were on the LR and most all of them would easily have "fit the profile" if you had asked our classmates prior to OCI. It's just shit luck in a shit economy that kept them out.

The larger point that I want to make is that while my school will likely place 70%+ into a bigfirm SA, the ~30% who were shut out generally just had bad luck. This "bad luck" is magnified exponentially as you move down the USNWR list. I have a sibling at a T25 and his buddy is on the LR and could not get a job at a big firm in that secondary market despite superlative grades, a science degree, and strong interviewing. He told me it was hit-or-miss whether the law review got a SA in that market.

So, prospectives: take from this what you will. Optimism bias your way into law school with a large amount of non-dischargeable debt, but please don't say you weren't warned.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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prezidentv8
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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby prezidentv8 » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:52 pm

This thread is an atrocity.

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby bluesplitter » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:54 pm

prezidentv8 wrote:This thread is an atrocity.

“If you want to take a relation of violent extortion, sheer power, and turn it into something moral, and most of all, make it seem like the victims are to blame, you turn it into a relation of debt.” -- Economic anthropologist David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years

DEBT IS THE ATROCITY!

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:52 pm

OP here. So all in all the answer I was looking for (and yes I know that noone knows for sure), but do you think that the once the economy recovers, the legal profession will recover as well?

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby YourCaptain » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. So all in all the answer I was looking for (and yes I know that noone knows for sure), but do you think that the once the economy recovers, the legal profession will recover as well?


I'm sorry to say but "ITE" isn't some special phase, this is likely the new normal. At least for now, C/O 2013 will probably be as good as it will be for a while.

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby Renzo » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. So all in all the answer I was looking for (and yes I know that noone knows for sure), but do you think that the once the economy recovers, the legal profession will recover as well?


Legal hiring has already recovered; it's not getting much better for the foreseeable future. Most of the problems facing legal hiring are structural and not specifically related to the general malaise in the economy.

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby mrloblaw » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:17 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. So all in all the answer I was looking for (and yes I know that noone knows for sure), but do you think that the once the economy recovers, the legal profession will recover as well?


Aside from the fact that the economy is likely to not get much better for a huge part of our professional lives, there are some pretty major problems within the legal industry itself: too many newly-minted JDs, inordinately high cost of a legal education, clients that are increasingly scrutinizing the cost of legal services (result of the bad economy, but this won't stop being a concern the moment clients start making money again), etc.

Getting a law degree will remain an incredibly risky proposition for a very long time.

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:15 pm

mrloblaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. So all in all the answer I was looking for (and yes I know that noone knows for sure), but do you think that the once the economy recovers, the legal profession will recover as well?


Aside from the fact that the economy is likely to not get much better for a huge part of our professional lives, there are some pretty major problems within the legal industry itself: too many newly-minted JDs, inordinately high cost of a legal education, clients that are increasingly scrutinizing the cost of legal services (result of the bad economy, but this won't stop being a concern the moment clients start making money again), etc.

Getting a law degree will remain an incredibly risky proposition for a very long time.


even from a top school?

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:16 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
mrloblaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. So all in all the answer I was looking for (and yes I know that noone knows for sure), but do you think that the once the economy recovers, the legal profession will recover as well?


Aside from the fact that the economy is likely to not get much better for a huge part of our professional lives, there are some pretty major problems within the legal industry itself: too many newly-minted JDs, inordinately high cost of a legal education, clients that are increasingly scrutinizing the cost of legal services (result of the bad economy, but this won't stop being a concern the moment clients start making money again), etc.

Getting a law degree will remain an incredibly risky proposition for a very long time.


even from a top school?


did you not read the post 6 or 7 above?

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby flcath » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:19 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
mrloblaw wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:OP here. So all in all the answer I was looking for (and yes I know that noone knows for sure), but do you think that the once the economy recovers, the legal profession will recover as well?


Aside from the fact that the economy is likely to not get much better for a huge part of our professional lives, there are some pretty major problems within the legal industry itself: too many newly-minted JDs, inordinately high cost of a legal education, clients that are increasingly scrutinizing the cost of legal services (result of the bad economy, but this won't stop being a concern the moment clients start making money again), etc.

Getting a law degree will remain an incredibly risky proposition for a very long time.


even from a top school?

Virtually no one (who's moderately informed) would argue that going to law school isn't an incredibly risky proposition.

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I thought about writing the following in a longer, self-contained thread but I suppose this is as adequate an opportunity as any.

Bottom-line: I really think people need to think long and hard about the prospect of attending a school outside of the T10 -- T6 really. I'm a median student at CCN who just barely got a job in Chicago, despite above-average interviewing, work-experience, and other intangibles. I had another offer in my hometown (a true tertiary market) but was essentially shut out of that market as well. Oh, and for the record (and not that the prior poster's point merits further commentary), but I have a parent who works BigLaw in that secondary market and who knows a heavy-hitter at each of the firms I applied at (and to which I was later rejected). So the "just know somebody" tagline is hilariously wrong ITE.

Additionally, and even though my school putatively has done quite well, I know students on both ends of the curve who targeted not only primaries but secondaries (for which they had a "tie") and came up empty-handed. Some of these students were on the LR and most all of them would easily have "fit the profile" if you had asked our classmates prior to OCI. It's just shit luck in a shit economy that kept them out.

The larger point that I want to make is that while my school will likely place 70%+ into a bigfirm SA, the ~30% who were shut out generally just had bad luck. This "bad luck" is magnified exponentially as you move down the USNWR list. I have a sibling at a T25 and his buddy is on the LR and could not get a job at a big firm in that secondary market despite superlative grades, a science degree, and strong interviewing. He told me it was hit-or-miss whether the law review got a SA in that market.

So, prospectives: take from this what you will. Optimism bias your way into law school with a large amount of non-dischargeable debt, but please don't say you weren't warned.

flcath
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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby flcath » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:22 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:I thought about writing the following in a longer, self-contained thread but I suppose this is as adequate an opportunity as any.

Bottom-line: I really think people need to think long and hard about the prospect of attending a school outside of the T10 -- T6 really. I'm a median student at CCN who just barely got a job in Chicago, despite above-average interviewing, work-experience, and other intangibles. I had another offer in my hometown (a true tertiary market) but was essentially shut out of that market as well. Oh, and for the record (and not that the prior poster's point merits further commentary), but I have a parent who works BigLaw in that secondary market and who knows a heavy-hitter at each of the firms I applied at (and to which I was later rejected). So the "just know somebody" tagline is hilariously wrong ITE.

Additionally, and even though my school putatively has done quite well, I know students on both ends of the curve who targeted not only primaries but secondaries (for which they had a "tie") and came up empty-handed. Some of these students were on the LR and most all of them would easily have "fit the profile" if you had asked our classmates prior to OCI. It's just shit luck in a shit economy that kept them out.

The larger point that I want to make is that while my school will likely place 70%+ into a bigfirm SA, the ~30% who were shut out generally just had bad luck. This "bad luck" is magnified exponentially as you move down the USNWR list. I have a sibling at a T25 and his buddy is on the LR and could not get a job at a big firm in that secondary market despite superlative grades, a science degree, and strong interviewing. He told me it was hit-or-miss whether the law review got a SA in that market.

So, prospectives: take from this what you will. Optimism bias your way into law school with a large amount of non-dischargeable debt, but please don't say you weren't warned.

Very fair evaluation here, all around. (Though I'm very skeptical that CLS will hit the 70% mark.)

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby rayiner » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. So all in all the answer I was looking for (and yes I know that noone knows for sure), but do you think that the once the economy recovers, the legal profession will recover as well?


Yes the legal profession will recover, but you have to be clear about what the "steady state" looks like.

Big law has always hired mostly from the national schools (however you define the precise cut-off). Indeed it used to be that New York firms hired almost entirely from Harvard, Yale, and Columbia, while Chicago firms hired from Harvard, Yale, Chicago, and Northwestern, while California firms hired from Stanford and Berkeley.

The growth of the legal market in general and the New York market in particular has increased the level of recruiting, to the point where New York firms hire from the whole T14 while firms in other markets hire the top kids from local schools. This trend will continue to the extent that big law grows faster than class sizes at the top schools, but this will happen very slowly for the foreseeable future. Indeed, it seems that as a result of the bursting of the bubble, the big law firms are doubling down on the top schools. Even as the summer classes at V10 firms get back to the 100+ mark, there seems to be less representation from lower-ranked schools than there was during the bubble.

To the extent that certain economic growth trends continue, certain schools will benefit. The south is the fastest growing part of the country, with Charlotte being a major financial hub. Once that trend recovers, Vanderbilt will continue its rise relative to other schools. The same can be said for U Texas and UCLA, which are also located in fast-growing markets.

Now, the story for the other 180-something law schools will remain what it's historically been: the top few people in the class getting big firm jobs, a few more getting mid-size firm jobs, and the rest filtering in to small firms, the public sector, and non-law jobs. People blame the ABA's continued accreditation of law schools for the plight of lower-ranked schools, but in reality the # of law school graduates has grown slower than GDP. The # of JD's awarded has doubled since 1972, from 22,000 to 44,000. Meanwhile GDP has almost tripled from $4.5 trillion to $13 trillion, and spending on legal services has grown somewhat faster than that. What's really behind all the pain is not too many law grads (arguably there have always been too many) but that law school tuitions have exploded vastly out of proportion with the expected returns. There were always tons of law grads not getting jobs---it just hurt a lot less when they had $10k in loans than it does now that they have $100k in loans.

This particular pain point is not going to improve in the foreseeable future, and indeed will probably continue to get worse unless there is substantial reform of the federal student loan system.

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby rayiner » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:40 pm

flcath wrote:Very fair evaluation here, all around. (Though I'm very skeptical that CLS will hit the 70% mark.)


If their internal data is to be believed, they hit the 70% mark last OCI as well. The data I have from NU suggests that we hit the 60% mark. Of course when you factor in no-offers (which wasn't insubstantial this year thanks to fears of double-dip), along with clerkship and government defectors, I predict ~40% actual NLJ250 placement at graduation.

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby DoubleChecks » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:43 pm

rayiner wrote:
flcath wrote:Very fair evaluation here, all around. (Though I'm very skeptical that CLS will hit the 70% mark.)


If their internal data is to be believed, they hit the 70% mark last OCI as well. The data I have from NU suggests that we hit the 60% mark. Of course when you factor in no-offers (which wasn't insubstantial this year thanks to fears of double-dip), along with clerkship and government defectors, I predict ~40% actual NLJ250 placement at graduation.


Is this 60% for those that actually chose to even do OCI or the whole class overall?

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby flcath » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:53 pm

rayiner wrote:
flcath wrote:Very fair evaluation here, all around. (Though I'm very skeptical that CLS will hit the 70% mark.)


If their internal data is to be believed, they hit the 70% mark last OCI as well. The data I have from NU suggests that we hit the 60% mark. Of course when you factor in no-offers (which wasn't insubstantial this year thanks to fears of double-dip), along with clerkship and government defectors, I predict ~40% actual NLJ250 placement at graduation.

That strikes me as a huge gap b/t Notre Dame and NU.

Not that I expect ND to place as well as NU (esp. given that NU always outplaces its rank due to WE), but the [NLJ250 + Art. III] %s of the 2 schools have always been within 20%. (Just checked on this... some years it's much closer.)

No way that ND has 40% in SAs.

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:58 pm

rayiner wrote:
flcath wrote:Very fair evaluation here, all around. (Though I'm very skeptical that CLS will hit the 70% mark.)


If their internal data is to be believed, they hit the 70% mark last OCI as well. The data I have from NU suggests that we hit the 60% mark. Of course when you factor in no-offers (which wasn't insubstantial this year thanks to fears of double-dip), along with clerkship and government defectors, I predict ~40% actual NLJ250 placement at graduation.


Summer 2011 was a big year for no-offers? What?! 20%?

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
rayiner wrote:
flcath wrote:Very fair evaluation here, all around. (Though I'm very skeptical that CLS will hit the 70% mark.)


If their internal data is to be believed, they hit the 70% mark last OCI as well. The data I have from NU suggests that we hit the 60% mark. Of course when you factor in no-offers (which wasn't insubstantial this year thanks to fears of double-dip), along with clerkship and government defectors, I predict ~40% actual NLJ250 placement at graduation.


Summer 2011 was a big year for no-offers? What?! 20%?


Did you not read the clerkship part of rayiner's reply?

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby rayiner » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:40 pm

flcath wrote:
rayiner wrote:
flcath wrote:Very fair evaluation here, all around. (Though I'm very skeptical that CLS will hit the 70% mark.)


If their internal data is to be believed, they hit the 70% mark last OCI as well. The data I have from NU suggests that we hit the 60% mark. Of course when you factor in no-offers (which wasn't insubstantial this year thanks to fears of double-dip), along with clerkship and government defectors, I predict ~40% actual NLJ250 placement at graduation.

That strikes me as a huge gap b/t Notre Dame and NU.

Not that I expect ND to place as well as NU (esp. given that NU always outplaces its rank due to WE), but the [NLJ250 + Art. III] %s of the 2 schools have always been within 20%. (Just checked on this... some years it's much closer.)

No way that ND has 40% in SAs.


Before the recession NLJ250 placement might have been similar, but most T14 grads went to V50 firms while folks at T25's went to other NLJ250 firms. http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2007/ ... ement.html. When the recession hit V50 firms protected their core recruiting schools and cut back hiring disproportionately at T25s. In the "recovery," V50s have picked up their hiring a lot while other NLJ250 firms are still hiring at a trickle.

This has created two effects. First the gap between the T14 and the T25 is bigger than it used to be. Second the gap inside T14s has become huge. Tons of people are getting V50s and tons of people are getting nothing because the other NLJ250 firms aren't hiring anybody.

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby flcath » Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:01 am

rayiner wrote:
flcath wrote:
rayiner wrote:
flcath wrote:Very fair evaluation here, all around. (Though I'm very skeptical that CLS will hit the 70% mark.)


If their internal data is to be believed, they hit the 70% mark last OCI as well. The data I have from NU suggests that we hit the 60% mark. Of course when you factor in no-offers (which wasn't insubstantial this year thanks to fears of double-dip), along with clerkship and government defectors, I predict ~40% actual NLJ250 placement at graduation.

That strikes me as a huge gap b/t Notre Dame and NU.

Not that I expect ND to place as well as NU (esp. given that NU always outplaces its rank due to WE), but the [NLJ250 + Art. III] %s of the 2 schools have always been within 20%. (Just checked on this... some years it's much closer.)

No way that ND has 40% in SAs.


Before the recession NLJ250 placement might have been similar, but most T14 grads went to V50 firms while folks at T25's went to other NLJ250 firms. http://lawfirmaddict.blogspot.com/2007/ ... ement.html. When the recession hit V50 firms protected their core recruiting schools and cut back hiring disproportionately at T25s. In the "recovery," V50s have picked up their hiring a lot while other NLJ250 firms are still hiring at a trickle.

This has created two effects. First the gap between the T14 and the T25 is bigger than it used to be. Second the gap inside T14s has become huge. Tons of people are getting V50s and tons of people are getting nothing because the other NLJ250 firms aren't hiring anybody.

Yeah, no kidding. The NYC/everybody else dichotomy has something to do with it as well.

That link provided more support for the concept of the T6 than any I've ever seen. Also, is Berkeley considered a T14?

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:43 am

Damn. I know reality is what it is and blah blah blah. But some of this stuff is just so depressing.

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby lawdooder » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:Damn. I know reality is what it is and blah blah blah. But some of this stuff is just so depressing.


It's not. Depressing = when people plop down 100k+ for a lottery ticket that -- even when it pays out -- is disliked by many.

If you can't land yourself at one of these top schools, it's a losing game with little-to-no upside. go start a business.

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby flcath » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:50 am

lawdooder wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:Damn. I know reality is what it is and blah blah blah. But some of this stuff is just so depressing.


It's not. Depressing = when people plop down 100k+ for a lottery ticket that -- even when it pays out -- is disliked by many.

If you can't land yourself at one of these top schools, it's a losing game with little-to-no upside. go start a business.

Go to med school.

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:07 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
rayiner wrote:
flcath wrote:Very fair evaluation here, all around. (Though I'm very skeptical that CLS will hit the 70% mark.)


If their internal data is to be believed, they hit the 70% mark last OCI as well. The data I have from NU suggests that we hit the 60% mark. Of course when you factor in no-offers (which wasn't insubstantial this year thanks to fears of double-dip), along with clerkship and government defectors, I predict ~40% actual NLJ250 placement at graduation.


Summer 2011 was a big year for no-offers? What?! 20%?


Did you not read the clerkship part of rayiner's reply?


Clerkships and government jobs took how much of that 20% chunk out? I had heard that for V50-up, no-offers were generally not something to be concerned about.

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Re: Question about the struggling legal market.

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Oct 10, 2011 10:56 am

Anonymous User wrote:Clerkships and government jobs took how much of that 20% chunk out? I had heard that for V50-up, no-offers were generally not something to be concerned about.


Pretty sure I know of at least one V20-ish or so that likely no-offered this past summer (not sure of the exact rank). Not going to mention the firm since it's just a "through the grapevine" thing.




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