Legal market in three years

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tracy77
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Legal market in three years

Postby tracy77 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:15 pm

This might be a difficult question to answer, but given the current economy situation and the declining employment rate, do you guys think applying to law school is still a good idea? How will the legal market be after three/four years?

presidentk1
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby presidentk1 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:37 am

i think the economy as a whole will be in much better shape

its all peaks and valleys

the great depression didn't last forever, neither will this

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ben4847
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby ben4847 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:42 am

question isn't 3 years. It is now June; those entering school this fall will be interviewing for their jobs in 14 months.

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sunynp
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby sunynp » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:50 am

tracy77 wrote:This might be a difficult question to answer, but given the current economy situation and the declining employment rate, do you guys think applying to law school is still a good idea? How will the legal market be after three/four years?


No it is not a good idea generally. There are some circumstances when it is a good idea.

One problem with the legal market is that it is being redefined and compressed in a lot of ways. Biglaw firms are under great pressure to cut costs and that means outsourcing work formerly done by junior lawyers, etc. Another problem is that public interest hiring has been cut by the economy and people who do get these jobs tend to stay for years so they get their student loans paid off. Government hiring is frozen, and hard to say if that will improve in the next few years. A lot of government jobs are filled by volunteers now. On top of all this, people with more experience and degrees from better schools are now taking what would have been entry level jobs.

Finally law school is so expensive that it is basically a large gamble if you have to take out loans.

For a view of the law school hiring - look at blog by Professor Campos called insidethelawschoolscam. Also read law school transparency.
Last edited by sunynp on Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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TrojanHopeful
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby TrojanHopeful » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:51 am

Most people on here will tell you no, it is not worth it. The truth of it is, no one really knows where the heck the economy will be in three or four years.....the Fed doesn't even know.

If you want opinions, here is mine...I do believe it will be better in three or four years than it is now; it has, of course, been growing (albeit very, very, very slowly) since the end of 2008 (contrary to what many believe). The only serious problem that I see now is the going-ons in Europe and the effect it will have on our banks and economy should countries start defaulting on debt; nonetheless, I think the chance of that actually happening is slim. One thing I do believe is that chance of the so-called "age of the attorney" returning anytime soon is nil. I believe hiring will start to increase again, just not to the extent of what it was. This just increases the importance of going to the best law school you can get into with the lowest cost and finishing with good grades (or high ranking for the many schools that rank).

I guess that leaves you having to analyze your options and what you really want to do with your life. No longer is a law degree a guarantee for success.

But what the fuck do I know??

ahnhub
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby ahnhub » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:52 am

Even if the economy improves markedly, there are still some very serious issues which won't change--1) the cost is outrageously high for uncertain results, 2)we have a huge oversupply of lawyers and law grads.

You have to remember that actually, even when the legal industry was expanding rapidly and Biglaw was booming in the mid-2000's, it was still a really bad idea to go to any but a handful of schools.

I'm going to be attending a T-14 school with what amounts to a full-ride this fall, and knowing what I know now I wouldn't go if I had other decent options.

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TrojanHopeful
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby TrojanHopeful » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:58 am

ahnhub wrote:Even if the economy improves markedly, there are still some very serious issues which won't change--1) the cost is outrageously high for uncertain results, 2)we have a huge oversupply of lawyers and law grads.

You have to remember that actually, even when the legal industry was expanding rapidly and Biglaw was booming in the mid-2000's, it was still a really bad idea to go to any but a handful of schools.

I'm going to be attending a T-14 school with what amounts to a full-ride this fall, and knowing what I know now I wouldn't go if I had other decent options.


The problem is this....there aren't really any other decent options in this economy (except, of course, a professional baseball player).

presidentk1
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby presidentk1 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:58 am

you don't need to go to a t14...

any T1-TTT law school with a 75%+ scholly and good stipulations is a go as far as i am concerned

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TrojanHopeful
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby TrojanHopeful » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:03 am

presidentk1 wrote:you don't need to go to a t14...

any T1-TTT law school with a 75%+ scholly and good stipulations might be a go as far as i am concerned, depending on what you want to do

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dingbat
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby dingbat » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:13 am

tracy77 wrote:do you guys think applying to law school is still a good idea?

depends on the school and the scholly.
Columbia on a Ruby? Hells yes
Cooley at sticker? Not in this lifetime

As for the future of the legal market, well, if I knew that, I wouldn't need to go to law school, I'd be able to make bank on my economic prediction prowess

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sunynp
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby sunynp » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:50 am

presidentk1 wrote:you don't need to go to a t14...

any T1-TTT law school with a 75%+ scholly and good stipulations is a go as far as i am concerned


It also depends on whether you care about getting a job practicing law. Many schools have terrible employment statistics - terrible as in whether you will ever get a job as a lawyer. Look at rayiners Un-employment thread for the top schools and see the often surprisingly poor outcomes for even top schools. Also LST, has info for all schools.

ahnhub
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby ahnhub » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:34 am

TrojanHopeful wrote:
ahnhub wrote:Even if the economy improves markedly, there are still some very serious issues which won't change--1) the cost is outrageously high for uncertain results, 2)we have a huge oversupply of lawyers and law grads.

You have to remember that actually, even when the legal industry was expanding rapidly and Biglaw was booming in the mid-2000's, it was still a really bad idea to go to any but a handful of schools.

I'm going to be attending a T-14 school with what amounts to a full-ride this fall, and knowing what I know now I wouldn't go if I had other decent options.


The problem is this....there aren't really any other decent options in this economy (except, of course, a professional baseball player).


There are always options, and the vast majority don't involve losing 3 years of your working life and going into six-figure debt. I can list dozens of professions off the top of my head which will be more in demand than lawyers: programming, nursing, engineering, sales, accounting, etc....sure most of those aren't doing great either, but generally they're doing better than law.

I'm older and I don't want to start from the bottom, so biglaw is attractive to me. If I were graduating from college right now, I would stay the heck away from law, unless I got into a T-14 with lots of $$$$ (and even then, I'd explore other options first)

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Pate
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby Pate » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:55 am

+1 to nearly everything stated above. Plus. . .

. . . because of grading on “the curve,” Law School (compared to UG) is like being on another planet. In UG if you knew the exam answers, you receive an A+. In LS, nailing an exam doesn’t prevent you from being in the bottom 50%. I compare it to playing darts. . . 30 shooters, 30 bull’s-eye. . . 15 winners, 15 below 50%. Welcome to your future.

presidentk1
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby presidentk1 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:05 pm

the curve is very misunderstood, and its real world application differs greatly from the theoretical possibilities thrown around on this forum

if you get all the answers right on the test, you are going to get an A, curve or no curve

jim-green
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby jim-green » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:36 pm

Any Engineering or Science PhDs out there who are now in biglaw? Is your biglaw experience as an associate typically like your PhD years? (demanding boss, constantly being corrected, long hours, no social life.)

If so, I could probably manage biglaw life. If it is worse than PhD years, I may be in trouble.

One factor is that I had no SO when I was doing my PhD.

Lord Randolph McDuff
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby Lord Randolph McDuff » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:56 pm

presidentk1 wrote:the curve is very misunderstood, and its real world application differs greatly from the theoretical possibilities thrown around on this forum

if you get all the answers right on the test, you are going to get an A, curve or no curve


Couldn't be more wrong. Do you go to a TTTT? I've never had a MC exam so I cannot speak to that, but I literally had a convo with a professor who told me that I provided a correct, well-written legal analysis that covered all the major issues on the exam. I was slightly below median. Sometimes profs like my style and give me an A, sometimes not. I've forgotten to speak to issues before, but I've only written one inaccuracy on an exam because I mis-read the question. The black letter law we are all (usually) graded on is very easy-- the problem is that there is a lot of it to memorize and everyone at any decent school is going to write a good answer. Curve is a killer.

Sorry to pounce but we are having very different experiences.

redbullvodka
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby redbullvodka » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:59 pm

presidentk1 wrote:the curve is very misunderstood, and its real world application differs greatly from the theoretical possibilities thrown around on this forum

if you get all the answers right on the test, you are going to get an A, curve or no curve


Did no one here have curved classes in undergrad? Every single class I took, save for two philosophy classes and one government class, were curved against a forced median, usually a B or B+. These were all econ/math/chemistry/biology classes. I guess political science classes aren't curved?

rad lulz
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby rad lulz » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:59 pm

presidentk1 wrote:the curve is very misunderstood, and its real world application differs greatly from the theoretical possibilities thrown around on this forum

if you get all the answers right on the test, you are going to get an A, curve or no curve

It's a law school exam. There is no "right" answer.

apollo2015
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby apollo2015 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:49 pm

redbullvodka wrote:
presidentk1 wrote:the curve is very misunderstood, and its real world application differs greatly from the theoretical possibilities thrown around on this forum

if you get all the answers right on the test, you are going to get an A, curve or no curve


Did no one here have curved classes in undergrad? Every single class I took, save for two philosophy classes and one government class, were curved against a forced median, usually a B or B+. These were all econ/math/chemistry/biology classes. I guess political science classes aren't curved?


My economics and math classes were curved too. My Political Science classes weren't.

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LSAT>LDAC
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby LSAT>LDAC » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:53 pm

rad lulz wrote:
presidentk1 wrote:the curve is very misunderstood, and its real world application differs greatly from the theoretical possibilities thrown around on this forum

if you get all the answers right on the test, you are going to get an A, curve or no curve

It's a law school exam. There is no "right" answer.

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RedBirds2011
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby RedBirds2011 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:57 pm

apollo2015 wrote:
redbullvodka wrote:
presidentk1 wrote:the curve is very misunderstood, and its real world application differs greatly from the theoretical possibilities thrown around on this forum

if you get all the answers right on the test, you are going to get an A, curve or no curve


Did no one here have curved classes in undergrad? Every single class I took, save for two philosophy classes and one government class, were curved against a forced median, usually a B or B+. These were all econ/math/chemistry/biology classes. I guess political science classes aren't curved?


My economics and math classes were curved too. My Political Science classes weren't.




As a science major, pretty much all of my classes were curved.

theintern
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby theintern » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:08 pm

ben4847 wrote:question isn't 3 years. It is now June; those entering school this fall will be interviewing for their jobs in 14 months.

And it is quirks like this that have caused the current legal recruiting regime to fall into a state of complete disrepair.

redbullvodka
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby redbullvodka » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:24 pm

Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:
presidentk1 wrote:the curve is very misunderstood, and its real world application differs greatly from the theoretical possibilities thrown around on this forum

if you get all the answers right on the test, you are going to get an A, curve or no curve


Couldn't be more wrong. Do you go to a TTTT? I've never had a MC exam so I cannot speak to that, but I literally had a convo with a professor who told me that I provided a correct, well-written legal analysis that covered all the major issues on the exam. I was slightly below median. Sometimes profs like my style and give me an A, sometimes not. I've forgotten to speak to issues before, but I've only written one inaccuracy on an exam because I mis-read the question. The black letter law we are all (usually) graded on is very easy-- the problem is that there is a lot of it to memorize and everyone at any decent school is going to write a good answer. Curve is a killer.

Sorry to pounce but we are having very different experiences.


Did you get to see a model answer? How was yours different? Plus I see he said "major" issues. Maybe the outliers explored the more subtle issues?

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rayiner
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby rayiner » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:31 pm

ahnhub wrote:I'm going to be attending a T-14 school with what amounts to a full-ride this fall, and knowing what I know now I wouldn't go if I had other decent options.


Other decent options being what?

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rayiner
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Re: Legal market in three years

Postby rayiner » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:43 pm

ahnhub wrote:[There are always options, and the vast majority don't involve losing 3 years of your working life and going into six-figure debt. I can list dozens of professions off the top of my head which will be more in demand than lawyers: programming, nursing, engineering, sales, accounting, etc....sure most of those aren't doing great either, but generally they're doing better than law.


None of those professions are, financially, better than going to a T14, especially with a scholarship.

Programming: you get laid off regularly even in a good economy, and while you find a new job pretty quickly while you're young, you become increasingly unemployable after 40-50. Unless you work for Google, Facebook, etc, you'll top out around $110k-$120k unless you move into management.

Engineering: much the same as programming, unless you're talking about something ridiculous like oil & gas. There are far fewer layoffs than in programming, but most engineering fields are even more stagnant than law.

Nursing, Accounting: secure professions, but again you're unlikely to ever make more than $100k.

You're an absolute fool to say you'd choose one of these other options over a T14 with a full-ride, unless you would actually be a programmer rather than a lawyer. Even if you last only four years in big law, you'll be able to save up more money in that time than most engineers can after a decade on the job. After, you can expect to exit into a job making low six figures. That is probably the salary ceiling of most engineers who don't become entrepreneurs, as well as for most nurses and accountants, but you will have room to grow.

And you talk about professions being in-demand. You have to separate the state of the profession from the state of the schooling for the profession. BLS growth projections for law are not weak: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/About/Projections-Overview.htm. Law is expected to grow 11% between 2010-2020. Architecture and engineering is expected to grow 10%. Specific sub-fields are expected to grow at different rates. The field I left, aerospace engineering, is expected to grow 5%. Chemical engineering is expected to grow 6%. Computer engineering 9%. Electrical engineering 6%. Materials engineering 9%. The real problem is that there are too many JD's being graduated, but because of how hierarchical law is, as grad from a good school, you're insulated from most of that. You're not competing with TTTT JD's from three years ago who never found a job as a lawyer.

Software development is expected to grow 30%, but that's a shit profession with no barriers to entry. In programming you're constantly competing with every schmuck with a "CS degree" from a TTTT school.




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