Decline in LSATs --> Decline in law school apps-->?

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Anonymous User
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Decline in LSATs --> Decline in law school apps-->?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:22 am

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/arc ... le/254792/

I visited Duke law on Friday, and while I came away with a good impression of the students and faculty, they passed out a spreadsheet for class of 2011 placement which was less than reassuring. However, the students represented were obviously going through 1L summer in 2009 and 2L in 2010, both of which were very bleak.

It's difficult to predict how things will look in 2015 due to the economy, but assuming that it flatlines from here I'm wondering how that will affect big law employment given that we now finally have fewer people entering the profession. The previous classes at Duke for instance have been 219 students (2009), 213 students (2010), and this year the Dean announced that at Duke they are aiming to have a class of two hundred where the LSAT and GPA numbers are consistent with the current 1L class.

They also distributed information on current 2L summer placement which looked strong given a huge number of prestigious big law positions, however there was an asterisk indicating that in some cases it reflected split summer student information, so there is no way to gauge how many 2L's had big law summer employment.

Anonymous User
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Re: Decline in LSATs --> Decline in law school apps-->?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:36 am

Anonymous User wrote:http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/03/pop-goes-the-law-school-bubble/254792/

I visited Duke law on Friday, and while I came away with a good impression of the students and faculty, they passed out a spreadsheet for class of 2011 placement which was less than reassuring.

It's difficult to predict how things will look in 2015 due to the economy, but assuming that it flatlines from here I'm wondering how that will affect big law employment given that we now finally have fewer people entering the profession. The previous classes at Duke for instance have been 219 students (2009), 213 students (2010), and this year the Dean announced that at Duke they are aiming to have a class of two hundred where the LSAT and GPA numbers are consistent with the current 1L class.

They also distributed information on current 2L summer placement which looked strong given a huge number of prestigious big law positions, however there was an asterisk indicating that in some cases it reflected split summer student information, so there is no way to gauge how many 2L's had big law summer employment.


You're not as better off because fewer people are applying as you may think. Demand for legal services never "contracted" - it returned to normal levels. Lawyers are just too numerous and homogeneous. They're holding the bag because there's nothing unique about the service any individual lawyer offers unless you're patent prosecution.

You'll see further decline in big law hiring, and further innovation in big law cost structuring with contract attorneys, etc.

If they don't lower wages, they will shift to contract attorneys and integrate that as a part of the junior-associate-substitute biz model over time.

Basically, I wouldn't sleep better because fewer people are applying.

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Re: Decline in LSATs --> Decline in law school apps-->?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:38 am

Put to the side that "big law" is only a 3-5 year option for most people. Most people leave or get fired after that time.

Law offers careers, "big law" offers 3-year temp jobs. So I actually wouldn't look at law school and big law as a 160k deal because that number is totally illusory. Yes, you "start" higher than your MBA or MS peer, but you actually DROP in income 3 years later when you go in house. It's the only profession that's like that.

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Re: Decline in LSATs --> Decline in law school apps-->?

Postby Anonymous User » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:45 am

Anonymous User wrote:Put to the side that "big law" is only a 3-5 year option for most people. Most people leave or get fired after that time.

Law offers careers, "big law" offers 3-year temp jobs. So I actually wouldn't look at law school and big law as a 160k deal because that number is totally illusory. Yes, you "start" higher than your MBA or MS peer, but you actually DROP in income 3 years later when you go in house. It's the only profession that's like that.


OP here. I'm not worried about the salary: if I could graduate, do big law for 2-3 years, and then get an in-house or boutique job I would be thrilled. That's the golden path at this point. What I'm worried about is that in the class of 2011 information from Duke (9 months out) still has more than twenty people completely unemployed, and in North Carolina and surrounding states (Tennessee, Virginia, South Carolina) some are doing big law or clerkships, but a considerable number are either working in non-law jobs, are at small firms (less than ten lawyers), or went into practice for themselves. So basically, graduating from Duke with either no job to speak of, a job in a non-law field (someone is listed as working in "hospitality"), or a small not particularly great firm will really mess up future employment possibilities.

Mal Reynolds
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Re: Decline in LSATs --> Decline in law school apps-->?

Postby Mal Reynolds » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:55 am

There aren't fewer people entering the profession. There are fewer people applying to law school, it's a big difference. Schools have been pumping out the same number of grads despite the recession. So fewer LSATs will not translate to less competition for biglaw jobs.

PolySuyGuy
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Re: Decline in LSATs --> Decline in law school apps-->?

Postby PolySuyGuy » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:07 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Put to the side that "big law" is only a 3-5 year option for most people. Most people leave or get fired after that time.

Law offers careers, "big law" offers 3-year temp jobs. So I actually wouldn't look at law school and big law as a 160k deal because that number is totally illusory.


I feel stupid that I didn't realize this until LAST week. The WSJ has an article about one of the largest law firms firing partners and associates. I read that for those firms, the chance of getting partner is like 3% (If I remember right).

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Br3v
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Re: Decline in LSATs --> Decline in law school apps-->?

Postby Br3v » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:10 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:There aren't fewer people entering the profession. There are fewer people applying to law school, it's a big difference. Schools have been pumping out the same number of grads despite the recession. So fewer LSATs will not translate to less competition for biglaw jobs.


Assuming in long run less applicants doesn't translate to less competition for seats, thus jobs

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beachbum
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Re: Decline in LSATs --> Decline in law school apps-->?

Postby beachbum » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:29 pm

I mean, the data you're referencing (c/o 2011) is the absolute rock bottom of legal hiring. Things have gotten considerably better since - these days, median is good for a biglaw job (assuming you're fine with working in NYC or have ties to a decent secondary market). Even below median can be competitive given an otherwise solid resume and sound bidding strategy.

I assume things are mostly the same at the rest of MVPBCN(G?). But I wouldn't count on big shifts in the economy or biglaw hiring, or fewer incoming students/associates to buoy your chances.

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dingbat
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Re: Decline in LSATs --> Decline in law school apps-->?

Postby dingbat » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:54 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Put to the side that "big law" is only a 3-5 year option for most people. Most people leave or get fired after that time.

Law offers careers, "big law" offers 3-year temp jobs. So I actually wouldn't look at law school and big law as a 160k deal because that number is totally illusory. Yes, you "start" higher than your MBA or MS peer, but you actually DROP in income 3 years later when you go in house. It's the only profession that's like that.

You mean most ibankers aren't doing something else (at a lower salary) after a few years? How about the fact that most financial advisors don't make it a year?
What about management consultants? Many of those leave for lower paying jobs within a few years too. There's a reason partners in law firms, MDs in Ibanking, etc. ar paid so much:
A) very few people are willing to put up with that lifestyle for very long
B) very few of those are good enough to make it up to the top spots
(doesn't mean they're not overpaid, though)

ineptimusprime
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Re: Decline in LSATs --> Decline in law school apps-->?

Postby ineptimusprime » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:07 pm

Aren't a good number of law schools also reducing class sizes as a result of a smaller/weaker applicant pool in order to protect their medians? If that's the case, future grads will be facing less competition for jobs, no?

I could be missing something.




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