Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

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Baseball Fanatic
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Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby Baseball Fanatic » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:30 pm

I want to go to law school and practice law, but I have been reading articles left and right about how legal jobs are rare and the legal market is over-saturated. I want to get an opinion of law student or a graduate on this because I feel they would be better able to answer the questions. I know law schools have days where firms come on campus to recruit. Has anyone seen less firms coming to their schools? Is it even more difficult to get that crucial 2L summer internship? Are less firms eliminating their summer intern programs? Are jobs that are being offered temporary, part-time or full-time? Are clerkships becoming more hard to attain?

No one wants to be broke and I certainly do not want to be in tremendous debt that I cannot pay off in under 8 years. I have invested so much time in the LSAT that I cannot look back. I want to practice law, but I don't want to have a JD degree and still continue to serve hazelnut coffee to the entitled pricks in suits that walk into starbucks every morning because of a scarce market. (I want to be one of those entitled pricks).

So is the media really exacerbating the information about legal jobs or should I still continue to pursue my goal?
Last edited by Baseball Fanatic on Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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beach_terror
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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby beach_terror » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:32 pm

Current 3L, the market is shit.

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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby Baseball Fanatic » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:36 pm

Would it be better to attend a Top 14 on a partial scholarship or paying sticker, or attending a T30 with close to or even a full-ride?

I know GW offers full-rides to applicants admitted through a binding early decision program.
Last edited by Baseball Fanatic on Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby Baseball Fanatic » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:36 pm

beach_terror wrote:Current 3L, the market is shit.


Wow, is it really that bad?

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beach_terror
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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby beach_terror » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:39 pm

Debt is a personal thing, nobody can tell you how much you can take out and be alright. From a job standpoint, go to the best school you can at a cost you can handle. Be prepared to drop out if you don't do well enough to be at (a) the head of the pack for OCI; or (b) right outside OCI offer range so you can snag anything else that pops up afterwards.

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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby Baseball Fanatic » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:41 pm

So will a firm be willing to hire someone who is near the top of their class at a lower ranked school than a prospect who is in the middle of their class at a T14?

I've been told the T14 is the gateway to biglaw $$$ and opportunity, is this still the case?

rad lulz
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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby rad lulz » Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:42 pm

Baseball Fanatic wrote:
beach_terror wrote:Current 3L, the market is shit.


Wow, is it really that bad?

Merely half of all JDs will get ANY full time, long term, bar passage required employment. That's bad son.

sparty99
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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby sparty99 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:00 pm

YES, the job market is bad. Even if you have good grades, you are competing for Summer classes with 3-10 interns. Yeah, good luck with that.

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kwais
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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby kwais » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:22 pm

Baseball Fanatic wrote:So will a firm be willing to hire someone who is near the top of their class at a lower ranked school than a prospect who is in the middle of their class at a T14?

I've been told the T14 is the gateway to biglaw $$$ and opportunity, is this still the case?


Depends on both schools, but personally, I'd rather take my chances at T14 median. You are simply going to get more face time with more firms.

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IAFG
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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby IAFG » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:23 pm

kwais wrote:
Baseball Fanatic wrote:So will a firm be willing to hire someone who is near the top of their class at a lower ranked school than a prospect who is in the middle of their class at a T14?

I've been told the T14 is the gateway to biglaw $$$ and opportunity, is this still the case?


Depends on both schools, but personally, I'd rather take my chances at T14 median. You are simply going to get more face time with more firms.

It also depends on the firm and the composition of the hiring committee in a given year. But T14 is just plain going to give you more chances at more firms across the board. Doing well at a local school will be great for local firms (which are inherently limited in number). Being median at T14 will give you some chance at many, many firms.

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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby Baseball Fanatic » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:27 pm

With that being said, if I want to work in the DC area I should be looking at East Coast schools?

TheZoid
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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby TheZoid » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:36 pm

Baseball Fanatic wrote:With that being said, if I want to work in the DC area I should be looking at East Coast schools?


If you want to work in DC you should be looking at HYS.

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IAFG
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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby IAFG » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:38 pm

TheZoid wrote:
Baseball Fanatic wrote:With that being said, if I want to work in the DC area I should be looking at East Coast schools?


If you want to work in DC you should be looking at HYS.

If you want to work in DC you should be thinking about what you would wish you'd done if you totally miss DC. If you can't imagine working anywhere but DC, you may want to look at jobs that aren't being a lawyer.

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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby Joeshan520 » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:51 pm

Super bad. I'm going to flat out disagree with the conventional knowledge that taking out the debt at T14 will increase one's chances at lucrative employment which justifies the cost. A number of top schools are doing fairly poorly in terms of hiring (Georgetown for example at 66% for FT Legal Employment) despite astronomical tuition costs. I would personally apply to schools that are generous in terms of funding and also in areas that haven't traditionally seen the influx in newly christened attorneys in big markets like NY and Chicago. Lawyers are going to have to be far more entrepreneurial this day and age to get by and it's best to avoid as much leverage as possible for a degree that doesn't offer the same versatility and marketability it once had. To give you an example, my uncle works at boutique firm in Chicago that does low stakes plaintiff's commercial litigation for small companies. The office has five associates, two from Columbia two from Chicago and one from University of Illinois. It also has two unpaid interns both graduates of Northwestern. Moral of the story is that nothing is guaranteed anymore and it's time to dispel the egotistical myth that these schools are your ticket, they aren't.

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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby Baseball Fanatic » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:54 pm

Joeshan520 wrote:Super bad. I'm going to flat out disagree with the conventional knowledge that taking out the debt at T14 will increase one's chances at lucrative employment which justifies the cost. A number of top schools are doing fairly poorly in terms of hiring (Georgetown for example at 66% for FT Legal Employment) despite astronomical tuition costs. I would personally apply to schools that are generous in terms of funding and also in areas that haven't traditionally seen the influx in newly christened attorneys in big markets like NY and Chicago. Lawyers are going to have to be far more entrepreneurial this day and age to get by and it's best to avoid as much leverage as possible for a degree that doesn't offer the same versatility and marketability it once had. To give you an example, my uncle works at boutique firm in Chicago that does low stakes plaintiff's commercial litigation for small companies. The office has five associates, two from Columbia two from Chicago and one from University of Illinois. It also has two unpaid interns both graduates of Northwestern. Moral of the story is that nothing is guaranteed anymore and it's time to dispel the egotistical myth that these schools are your ticket, they aren't.


Deep. What if a person gets a joint degree, like a JD/MBA or JD/MPP, isn't that a boost compared to just having a JD?

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IAFG
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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby IAFG » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:55 pm

Joeshan520 wrote:Super bad. I'm going to flat out disagree with the conventional knowledge that taking out the debt at T14 will increase one's chances at lucrative employment which justifies the cost. A number of top schools are doing fairly poorly in terms of hiring (Georgetown for example at 66% for FT Legal Employment) despite astronomical tuition costs. I would personally apply to schools that are generous in terms of funding and also in areas that haven't traditionally seen the influx in newly christened attorneys in big markets like NY and Chicago. Lawyers are going to have to be far more entrepreneurial this day and age to get by and it's best to avoid as much leverage as possible for a degree that doesn't offer the same versatility and marketability it once had. To give you an example, my uncle works at boutique firm in Chicago that does low stakes plaintiff's commercial litigation for small companies. The office has five associates, two from Columbia two from Chicago and one from University of Illinois. It also has two unpaid interns both graduates of Northwestern. Moral of the story is that nothing is guaranteed anymore and it's time to dispel the egotistical myth that these schools are your ticket, they aren't.

When those of us at T14s see the healthy majority of our classmates still having good outcomes, this advice doesn't sound very... grounded in reality.

As an aside, there are a lot of reasons for GULC's FT LEGAL employment to be underwhelming.

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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby Baseball Fanatic » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:58 pm

IAFG wrote:
Joeshan520 wrote:Super bad. I'm going to flat out disagree with the conventional knowledge that taking out the debt at T14 will increase one's chances at lucrative employment which justifies the cost. A number of top schools are doing fairly poorly in terms of hiring (Georgetown for example at 66% for FT Legal Employment) despite astronomical tuition costs. I would personally apply to schools that are generous in terms of funding and also in areas that haven't traditionally seen the influx in newly christened attorneys in big markets like NY and Chicago. Lawyers are going to have to be far more entrepreneurial this day and age to get by and it's best to avoid as much leverage as possible for a degree that doesn't offer the same versatility and marketability it once had. To give you an example, my uncle works at boutique firm in Chicago that does low stakes plaintiff's commercial litigation for small companies. The office has five associates, two from Columbia two from Chicago and one from University of Illinois. It also has two unpaid interns both graduates of Northwestern. Moral of the story is that nothing is guaranteed anymore and it's time to dispel the egotistical myth that these schools are your ticket, they aren't.

When those of us at T14s see the healthy majority of our classmates still having good outcomes, this advice doesn't sound very... grounded in reality.

As an aside, there are a lot of reasons for GULC's FT LEGAL employment to be underwhelming.


Care to elaborate? I am curious because I am interested in GT. Also, if you don't mind, what T14 do you attend?

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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby rayiner » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:03 pm

Baseball Fanatic wrote:So will a firm be willing to hire someone who is near the top of their class at a lower ranked school than a prospect who is in the middle of their class at a T14?

I've been told the T14 is the gateway to biglaw $$$ and opportunity, is this still the case?


It's a gateway in the sense that the T14 are the only schools where you have a reasonable expectation of big law or a clerkship. It used to be that reasonable expectation was a near-guarantee, but that is no longer the case.

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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby dudders » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:04 pm

Here's some cute stats from my T(TT)20.

C/O 2009 - 234/527 grads went to firms 251+
C/O 2010 - 134/512 grads went to firms 251+
C/O 2011 - 95/518 grades went to firms 251+

This time next year, ask me how it feels to be unemployed and living in my car.

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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby Baseball Fanatic » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:09 pm

dudders wrote:Here's some cute stats from my T(TT)20.

C/O 2009 - 234/527 grads went to firms 251+
C/O 2010 - 134/512 grads went to firms 251+
C/O 2011 - 95/518 grades went to firms 251+

This time next year, ask me how it feels to be unemployed and living in my car.


Wow, you go to GW?! How is it? I am interested in that school as well.

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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby Baseball Fanatic » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:12 pm

rayiner wrote:
Baseball Fanatic wrote:So will a firm be willing to hire someone who is near the top of their class at a lower ranked school than a prospect who is in the middle of their class at a T14?

I've been told the T14 is the gateway to biglaw $$$ and opportunity, is this still the case?


It's a gateway in the sense that the T14 are the only schools where you have a reasonable expectation of big law or a clerkship. It used to be that reasonable expectation was a near-guarantee, but that is no longer the case.


That is very discouraging to hear. I am starting to second guess going to Law School. I would love to do a clerkship for experience but If you are saying that if I go to a school outside the T14 but within the T30, essentially, I am SOL for a clerkship.

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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby rayiner » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:14 pm

Baseball Fanatic wrote:
rayiner wrote:
Baseball Fanatic wrote:So will a firm be willing to hire someone who is near the top of their class at a lower ranked school than a prospect who is in the middle of their class at a T14?

I've been told the T14 is the gateway to biglaw $$$ and opportunity, is this still the case?


It's a gateway in the sense that the T14 are the only schools where you have a reasonable expectation of big law or a clerkship. It used to be that reasonable expectation was a near-guarantee, but that is no longer the case.


That is very discouraging to hear. I am starting to second guess going to Law School. I would love to do a clerkship for experience but If you are saying that if I go to a school outside the T14 but within the T30, essentially, I am SOL for a clerkship.


A federal clerkship is unlikely anywhere. That said, it drops down very rapidly from Y/S (25%), to H/Chicago (15%), to the rest of the T13 (10%) , to the rest of the T30 (5%), to the rest of the T50 (2-3%).

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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby coldshoulder » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:15 pm

To be fair, it depends on what kind of clerkship you want...you can get state level clerkships with LR/top 10% at T50 as well. Obviously you're going to have trouble even out of the tippy top schools getting truly prestigious clerkships.

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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby Baseball Fanatic » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:31 pm

I need to stop watching television dramas depicting the profession of lawyers.

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IAFG
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Re: Is the scarcity of legal jobs fabricated?

Postby IAFG » Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:40 pm

Baseball Fanatic wrote:
Care to elaborate? I am curious because I am interested in GT. Also, if you don't mind, what T14 do you attend?

I go to Northwestern, despite the fact that GULC offered me $30k more in scholarship money, so clearly I did not put my money where my mouth was.

However. I am less prone to write of GULC completely because, having worked a JD-preferred job in DC (probably not considered "full time legal employment") I knew a lot of people who were 0Ls or part time law students who would not have taken a biglaw opportunity over going back to politics/lobbying/federal agency work/NGO/nonprofit/whatever they were doing before law school. And they certainly would not have moved to NYC to chase that biglaw job. I suspect that GULC students are more likely to have the requisite connections/work experience/personal preferences to choose to stay in DC for something other than biglaw or jobs that qualify as full time legal employment.

Now, some people point out that GULC's placement has declined, and that's certainly true, but it's very hard to determine whether that's due to a lack of ability to get market-paying full time legal jobs, or a lack of desire to make compromises to pursue the opportunities that are available. In my mind, it at least calls into question the assumption that GULC students don't do biglaw because they can't. Ultimately, the question cannot merely be, "how many students end up doing biglaw?" because we know that doesn't tell the full story (for example, by this metric Yale does horribly). The real question is, "how many students have the option of doing biglaw?" and that's incredibly difficult, if not impossible to measure.




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