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?