Not entirely disagreeing with your conclusion (though I'd add "...or can attend for relatively little money/debt" to your first sentence), but the first article you link relies on the notion that someone with a bachelor's degree and three years' work experience is making $40-60k in this economy for its calculation of opportunity cost. Having been out of school for nearly three years with my BA, I can count on one hand the number of people I graduated with who are making any sort of salary, or in any hourly job that pays more than about $15/hour.
Law school is still a bad idea for many people who wind up going, and no guarantee of job prospects should be assumed, but the idea that the majority of people with bachelor's degrees and a few years of WE are making middle-class, house-in-the-suburbs kind of money is pretty laughable.
Maybe we should do a comparison of:
BA holders' salaries vs. JD holder salaries (adjusting for whatever necessary)
That would be interesting. What does the average social sciences/humanities BA degree holder make nowadays (as those are often the typical degrees that many law school students have)?
rayiner wrote:Most of your statements are hyperbole. Below median grades at a T14 do not disqualify you from big law, much less a job. Few people leave after only one year. There are lots of jobs post-big law besides partner at a V10. Partnership odds are much better than many assume. At some firms, especially those in secondary markets, a substantial minority of associates will make partner.
I do wonder what the numbers look like for post-big law associates?
My impressions were:
a.) Few people last more than 2.5 years at a big law job - it's just very competitive.
b.) The market for post-big law grads is still very tough (e.g. the NYU grad Campos mentioned with no job prospects after 2 years of big law).
***In trying to lateral to a government law job, you'd be facing 1,000+ applications for a single postion - from people with wonderful T14 credentials and big law credentials.
***In trying to lateral to a mid-sized law firm (for a likely lower salary), which may be struggling to stay afloat just as much as big law firms in our current economy, the competition is now different. You're no longer up against your own law school class (as a new/entry-level hire), but now are going against people who may have 7-10 years of experience against your 1 or 2 years of work....it's no longer who is the best out of your law school class, but who is the best out of ALL the big law wipe-outs (and possibly others).
***In trying to move to in-house counsel, if the big law assignments your superiors gave you were in an isolated area non-helpful to that corporation, then you stand to be less marketable than someone else with skills more pertinent/relevant to that corporation's needs. But this might still seem the strongest option for a post-big law "wipe-out."
I would actually be very curious to see where post-big law associates land (statistically) and what the market is like for them. These are the impressions and stories I get from talking to people who've worked in diverse backgrounds in law (from many years to just being out of law school recently).
unc0mm0n1 wrote:I can back rayiner up as it pertains to JAG. I know many people who applied to JAG from T-14 who didn't get it but if you look at the Corps there are people from all levels of schools. JAG looks for people who will be good officers as well as good lawyers. Even though the JAG officers aren't commanders per se, they are still officers who have a responsibility to serve as an example to both the enlisted and other officers. There is a great thread on military law on TLS as well as the VET thread that can be helpful if you have other questions.
Thank you very much, unc0mm0n1! I'll take a look at the other thread.