Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

(Please Ask Questions and Answer Questions)
User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby sunynp » Sun Sep 30, 2012 12:10 pm

Chickensoup wrote:
You didn't read the entire paragraph did you? He doesn't mention connections or a job waiting for him.


You don't really get how connections work, do you? It's not as if someone has a specific job waiting for you years in advance. It means that the kid could come from a family with some money, with some legal contacts, and with multiple other avenues for him to pursue.

I know multiple people like this. For them, law school is the perfect place to spend a few years.


Yes,I understand how connections work. My point is that he didn't mention connections in his post. He didn't say that he was different from all the other special snowflakes because he knew a number of local attorneys and businesses and he knew they would help him get a job. He didn't mention family money either.

He said he would give it a good faith effort and see the forest for the trees and he will find something by the time he graduates. That is the essence of the special snowflake attitude.

Also, to count on connections with no promises of employment is still risky. When it comes time to hiring someone, the connections may not be able to deliver.

If you have family money, law school may indeed be a fine way to "spend a few years." Most people on this forum have to decide if their potential income is worth the cost of law school. If you have to take out loans to pay for school and then repay them yourself based your income, the decision to go to law school is obviously different than if you have a trust fund. A person can't afford the luxury of assuming they are a special snowflake when they have to get a job to repay their 6 figures of debt.

uvabro
Posts: 405
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2012 9:44 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby uvabro » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:40 pm

the economy sucks. i'd like to think if i was making enough to support myself nicely with no specialized skills at all that with a legal knowledge, i'd be able to do much better.

of course, i'm hoping for a big job. if i wasn't i would've taken a full ride to a lower tier one, but i definitely think i'm not incompetent and i know there are still incompetent people landing good jobs from top schools. a lot of competent people are not, but it still seems like a safe bet from a top 14.

timbs4339
Posts: 2733
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:19 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby timbs4339 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 5:30 pm

Right now it is much easier to get into law school than it is to get a nice white collar job. It's the immediate path of least resistance.

I've also met several people who are going partly because of the three year deferment on their undergrad loans.

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby Bronte » Sun Oct 07, 2012 1:26 pm

mrman17 wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:
Skyblaze wrote:Some people actually want to be lawyers.

+1. Plus, there are not many other employee opportunities where you can start at +$125K - $160K and make a lot more in future years. But yes, you take your chances.


That is a thing of the past...even for graduates of the top 3. Clients know that they have been paying top dollar for the work of new graduates and have demanded lower fees. Also, many jobs that used to go to recent graduates are being outsourced to Bangladesh.


Don't you think you're exaggerating a little bit? Six figure jobs are not a thing of the past. You still have thousands of grads going to big law every year and starting at $160,000.

User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby sunynp » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:11 pm

Bronte wrote:
mrman17 wrote:
Renne Walker wrote:
Skyblaze wrote:Some people actually want to be lawyers.

+1. Plus, there are not many other employee opportunities where you can start at +$125K - $160K and make a lot more in future years. But yes, you take your chances.


That is a thing of the past...even for graduates of the top 3. Clients know that they have been paying top dollar for the work of new graduates and have demanded lower fees. Also, many jobs that used to go to recent graduates are being outsourced to Bangladesh.


Don't you think you're exaggerating a little bit? Six figure jobs are not a thing of the past. You still have thousands of grads going to big law every year and starting at $160,000.


Ive been trying to find out how many thousand of grads we are talking about. I know the number is posted here somewhere.

EDIT: found it on the NALP 2011 employment report. Just look at the total for the year at firms of over 501+ attorneys.

The grand total of grads reported to be in firms of over 501 lawyers nationwide was...
2856

but note only 2661 of those people reported salaries. There are probably some of the 2856 number who are working in the backoffices of big firms Wilmer Hale and Orrick.

http://www.nalp.org/uploads/NatlSummCha ... of2011.pdf
Last edited by sunynp on Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:53 pm, edited 3 times in total.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby 09042014 » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:31 pm

JamMasterJ wrote:
BuckinghamB wrote:In my case, if I didn't go, I would work in retail food service for less than $30K so there's not much opportunity cost. Even if I don't score biglaw, there's a good chance I'll still find a job that would pay significantly more than that. And if I am one of the minority at my school that can't find a JD-required job after graduation, I'll likely have dat sugar mama to hold me over until I find work ;) So I think it makes sense for me. Plus, I am special snowflake.

ftfm.
The definition of doing it right.


The kind of person who "can only find retail/food service" is the kind of person who ends up perma-DocReviewed unless they absolutely kill 1L. You gotta have some sense of how to market yourself unless you are like Top 15% at T13.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby IAFG » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:34 pm

501+ is such a random number to isolate. It excludes too many firms (including V100 firms) to be a reasonable metric to use. Which might be why you made the other numbers giant and colored, to try to distract from the weakness of your sample set.

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby IAFG » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:38 pm

Chickensoup wrote:Not everybody is concerned about money. Kid could have connections that will help him do just fine.

I know a few people who were disappointed by how little their connections could help them when push came to shove.

User avatar
vanwinkle
Posts: 9740
Joined: Sun Dec 21, 2008 3:02 am

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby vanwinkle » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:41 pm

IAFG wrote:
Chickensoup wrote:Not everybody is concerned about money. Kid could have connections that will help him do just fine.

I know a few people who were disappointed by how little their connections could help them when push came to shove.

This.

User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby sunynp » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:51 pm

IAFG wrote:501+ is such a random number to isolate. It excludes too many firms (including V100 firms) to be a reasonable metric to use. Which might be why you made the other numbers giant and colored, to try to distract from the weakness of your sample set.


No, I made it red because it is the number reported by NALP, in regard to the thousands of grads making $160,000. I picked $160,000 because those are the people at the top making the most. Also, that was the number used in the post I quoted, I didn't just pick it out of thin air.

So the "best" outcome in terms of salary is still well under 3,000 grads. That number is much lower than I thought it was. I can change the font and size if it bothers people.

I didn't add up the total of first years from all firms paying $125,000- $160,000. But I linked the spreadsheet if anyone wants to do so.

User avatar
Lincoln
Posts: 1029
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 11:27 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby Lincoln » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:52 pm

Desert Fox wrote: . . . market yourself unless you are like Top 15% at T13.


Is this the new nomenclature? Does that exclude Cornell (which is ranked 14th) or Gtown (which arguably has worse job prospects? Just want to make sure I stay hip with the lingo.

User avatar
John Mill
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 9:21 am

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby John Mill » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:10 pm

As bad as the legal job market is, there are still a lot of good reasons to want to be a lawyer, so some people just feel as though its worth the risk.

The job carries a lot of prestige, something about lawyer and doctor just seem to have this aura of respect from other people. Also while the top jobs are rare, its still more attainable than certain other paths for people who want to join the upper class. For example starting a small business or writing a novel, the odds of making the fortune 500 or the New York Times best seller list, is a lot more far fetched than big law.

User avatar
Bronte
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:44 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby Bronte » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:10 pm

sunynp wrote:
IAFG wrote:501+ is such a random number to isolate. It excludes too many firms (including V100 firms) to be a reasonable metric to use. Which might be why you made the other numbers giant and colored, to try to distract from the weakness of your sample set.


No, I made it red because it is the number reported by NALP, in regard to the thousands of grads making $160,000. I picked $160,000 because those are the people at the top making the most. Also, that was the number used in the post I quoted, I didn't just pick it out of thin air.

So the "best" outcome in terms of salary is still well under 3,000 grads. That number is much lower than I thought it was. I can change the font and size if it bothers people.

I didn't add up the total of first years from all firms paying $125,000- $160,000. But I linked the spreadsheet if anyone wants to do so.


A few thousand grads get six-figure starting salaries. My only point is that this is a lot different than zero grads getting those salaries. Given how many of my fellow students have big law, it just sounds weird to hear that six figure salaries are "a thing of the past."

User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby sunynp » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:16 pm

Bronte wrote:
sunynp wrote:
IAFG wrote:501+ is such a random number to isolate. It excludes too many firms (including V100 firms) to be a reasonable metric to use. Which might be why you made the other numbers giant and colored, to try to distract from the weakness of your sample set.


No, I made it red because it is the number reported by NALP, in regard to the thousands of grads making $160,000. I picked $160,000 because those are the people at the top making the most. Also, that was the number used in the post I quoted, I didn't just pick it out of thin air.

So the "best" outcome in terms of salary is still well under 3,000 grads. That number is much lower than I thought it was. I can change the font and size if it bothers people.

I didn't add up the total of first years from all firms paying $125,000- $160,000. But I linked the spreadsheet if anyone wants to do so.


A few thousand grads get six-figure starting salaries. My only point is that this is a lot different than zero grads getting those salaries. Given how many of my fellow students have big law, it just sounds weird to hear that six figure salaries are "a thing of the past."

Ok, got you. I'm still surprised at how few grads nationwide get into the biggest of biglaw, though I think I have seen this number of 1st year associates before.

IAFG may be right and I am confusing the number of people at 501+ firms with the total number of people getting six-figure jobs. Obviously there are more people making $100,000 and up then the number of people in the biggest firms.

So I added in the number of people with reported salaries from firms of 100 people or more up to and including 501+. That total is 4,299.

If you add people with reported salaries from 51- 100 you can include another 670 people.

If you dont care about reported salaries, the numbers are:

501 + 2856 grads
251 -500 891 grads
101-250 1010 grads
51-101 888 grads

you get 5645 nationwide.

Here is the link again to check the numbers yourself:
http://www.nalp.org/uploads/NatlSummCha ... of2011.pdf

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby IAFG » Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:05 pm

I just don't things are as grim out there as some people are suggesting. Most T14ers are having a good outcome e.g. clerkship, fellowship, gov't, public interest or 6-figure firm job. If these outcomes were more evenly distributed among the nation's law schools I would be very concerned about deciding to go to law school, since there would be so little you could do on the front end to improve your odds of things working out. Since that's not the way of things, I continue to believe that attending a T14, even at full tuition, is a reasonable choice.

I also find it a bit odd to say that "some money" would make T14 a better choice. As someone who is at a T14 with "some money," I still need biglaw or else LRAP to pay it back due to the bimodal nature of first year salaries.

User avatar
BruceWayne
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:30 pm

IAFG wrote:I just don't things are as grim out there as some people are suggesting. Most T14ers are having a good outcome e.g. clerkship, fellowship, gov't, public interest or 6-figure firm job. If these outcomes were more evenly distributed among the nation's law schools I would be very concerned about deciding to go to law school, since there would be so little you could do on the front end to improve your odds of things working out. Since that's not the way of things, I continue to believe that attending a T14, even at full tuition, is a reasonable choice.

I also find it a bit odd to say that "some money" would make T14 a better choice. As someone who is at a T14 with "some money," I still need biglaw or else LRAP to pay it back due to the bimodal nature of first year salaries.


"Most" people sure aren't getting these jobs here at UVA--a top 14 school. Well I take that back, a lot of them are getting "fellowships"...

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby IAFG » Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:34 pm

BruceWayne wrote:
IAFG wrote:I just don't things are as grim out there as some people are suggesting. Most T14ers are having a good outcome e.g. clerkship, fellowship, gov't, public interest or 6-figure firm job. If these outcomes were more evenly distributed among the nation's law schools I would be very concerned about deciding to go to law school, since there would be so little you could do on the front end to improve your odds of things working out. Since that's not the way of things, I continue to believe that attending a T14, even at full tuition, is a reasonable choice.

I also find it a bit odd to say that "some money" would make T14 a better choice. As someone who is at a T14 with "some money," I still need biglaw or else LRAP to pay it back due to the bimodal nature of first year salaries.


"Most" people sure aren't getting these jobs here at UVA--a top 14 school. Well I take that back, a lot of them are getting "fellowships"...

For the record, I didn't mean that kind of fellowship :wink:

User avatar
BruceWayne
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby BruceWayne » Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:38 pm

IAFG wrote:For the record, I didn't mean that kind of fellowship :wink:


LMAO we both know that that wasn't what you meant. But seriously things are bad here. The only good thing I will say is that 1) I don't know of any people who ended up in these positions LONG term which in truth is probably more important and 2) It's so many people that I don't think a lot of us even feel all that bad about not having anything or having anything great.

User avatar
specialsnowflake
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 9:48 am

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby specialsnowflake » Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:52 pm

FeelTheHeat wrote:
moonman157 wrote:special snowflakes


moonman157 wrote:special snowflakes


moonman157 wrote:special snowflakes


you rang?

User avatar
manofjustice
Posts: 1323
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:01 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby manofjustice » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:12 pm

The market is murder. But the market always has been murder. Even in the boom times, only 3/4s of students have gotten jobs requiring a bar degree, and most of those jobs were bad.

Law school, along with business school, is a quasi-professional school. I don't know much about med school, but I would suspect med school is the only true professional school.

Think about it this way: take a bad economy, take a strait-from-undergrad/no-work-experience pipeline, add just two barriers--an application fee and a standardized test...unlike med school and medicine, you don't have to learn how to practice law, or actually practice it, to graduate...law school is much more easily a causal extension of an undergraduate career than 4 years of med school and 3 years of residency...ohh, and you have to click an "I agree" button to take out a quarter of a million dollars in loans...and ask yourself, from the perspective of real businessmen who have real money to spend on real lawyers who will have to do real work: "how close do we really come to having good jobs for 100% of people who happened to fall into (and roll out of) law school?" Not even close.

Truth is, in the boom times, a lot of bad lawyers got jobs doing doc review up and down the continuum and got ground-out when the bubble-work busted.

The way I think of law school: it's just a stepping-stone. You're generally as employable before you go into law school as you are when you come out.

So, don't go to law school unless you REALLY think you'll be a good lawyer or will enjoy it. And don't go to any law school at sticker price. For God's sake, call a bubble when you see it. There is no market that goes un-distorted by subsidized, guaranteed loans. And law schools--academia in general--have acted like a franchisee of 7/11s...they've taken the money, built buildings, increased salaries, hired more professors and staff, and then they've taken the money again. There was no "let's not do this." It was a race to the bottom.

Law school is not something you should EVER choose lightly.

Also, even though the economy is shit, don't forget that there ARE a lot of things you can do, if you're talented. Sales. Work for a start-up. Start a yoga studio. I have friends and family who have been successful in every one of these endeavors and they love their lives.

Interview well and get an entry level job in a company and work your way up...without a graduate degree...or have the company pay for one. Ditto: I have a friend who has been successful doing this too.

If you're a learner, good for you. Engineering and computer programming. It's a skill, a trade, like welding or carpentry. You'll get jobs if there is work to be done. The F-35 needs 15 million lines of code written in the next 4 years. Be the guy writing the code. You'll start at around 60. You won't have to get clients, you won't have to win cases, you won't even have to be professional. It's a different kind of thing than a profession.

Do something because you'll be good at it and you'll at least be able to live with it. It's work. It's a job. Welcome to life.

Sure, it'll be hard to do something else, given the economy. Do you honestly think it's easier for lawyers?

Let's take that 3/4th "bar required" number...that was for the boom times, remember. Now it's more like 6/10th. Well, the unemployment rate among ALL college-educated 18 to 25 year-olds, I heard reported, is 4%, according to the recent jobs numbers.

So, scratch your head and ask yourself again: why do you REALLY want a law degree?

User avatar
scifiguy
Posts: 575
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 2:41 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby scifiguy » Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:20 am

Here's one:

What about those who "like the idea of law" or the "idea of being a lawyer" vs. what is means to actually be in law school and practice law?

It comes from the popular criticism that many people like the idea of being in love more than they do the actual person they're with. LoL. :P I've heard this saying a lot. For them, its maybe not the person, but just the concept/idea/feeling of love that they are attracted to.

Can the same hold with law school and practicing law? I'm trying to ask myself that question seriously. If law school weren't such a life-changing decision (e.g., if it cost much less), then maybe I could "try it out" you know...and it wouldn't hurt that bad. But with the jobs situation so tough and tuition so high, I'm carefully asking myself this question and doing my research on things to make sure of things.

I have to admit that the allure and image of high salaried work and respect & prestige can sometimes be blinding when thinking about law school! Those are the common images we've probably all grown up with and been told.

I sometimes wonder if I'm rationalizing to myself or trying to force/convince myself that I reallllllly would love to be a lawyer.

User avatar
sunynp
Posts: 1899
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 2:06 pm

Re: Why so many people apply/attend LS if jobs are so rare?

Postby sunynp » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:14 am

Why not get a job as a paralegal at a firm and see what it is like first hand?




Return to “Law School FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: shannonmk and 1 guest