jg1 wrote:I was wait-listed for Iowa and have not heard anything back yet. I sent in a letter of intent, but am still waiting to hear news. Has anyone gotten in off the wait-list yet?
I spoke with Admissions yesterday. They're not even looking at the waitlist until second deposit (June 1st). They're very over-enrolled. So we get to sit tight.
They are not over enrolled.. they've cut the class size by 40 students over the last 5 years. I'm sure more than anything that the size of their class is going to be dictated by employment statistics. However, I will say that unless you are really passionate about law and really want to practice I would pick something else to maximize your ROI as the average salary for lawyers will only decrease over the next half century irregardless of recovery of the economy.
See this survey by the Alabama Bar Association.
Note that, "the dollar figures in these reports: they are nominal dollars rather than inflation-adjusted
. Between 1985 and 2009 the CPI doubled, while between 1997 and 2009 it increased by 33.7%. So, for example, when the survey measures how many Alabama attorneys were making $100,000 or more in 1985, that's equivalent to asking how many Alabama attorneys were making $200,000 or more in 2009, in real dollars. (The answer, by the way, is that 17% of Alabama attorneys were making $200K+ in 1985 in 2009 dollars, while 8.7% of Alabama attorneys were making $200K+ in 2009.)
More fun facts:
54% of Alabama attorneys were making at least $100,000 per year in 1985 in 2009 dollars, as compared to 28% in 2009.
23% of Alabama attorneys were making less than $25,000 in 2009.
37% were making less than $50,000. (The median level of years in the profession of respondents was 11 to 20).
In 1997 76% of Alabama attorneys were making at least $67,000 per year in 2009 dollars. In 2009 approximately 49% were making at least $67,000.
In 1997, 40% of Alabama attorneys were making at least $134,000 per year in 2009 dollars. In 2009 20% of Alabama attorneys were making at least that much.
This is representative of the state I will be heading too as well.
The top rainmaker(s) in my state netted 2.63 million in 1970 (I adjusted the numbers for CPI inflation), 1980 it was 1.78 million. 1990 1.57 million. 2000 1.24 million 2010 745k.
Calculating the average STARTING pay for private practice attorneys the 1984 graduating class in my state and adjusting the dollars to 2012 and comparing them to the AVERAGE INDUSTRY salary for private practice attorneys, the starting pay in 1984 was 2k less than the current average salary for the profession. In full disclosure, I don't live in Michigan and my state has grown both in population and in economy size since 1970.
I've talked to a handful of attorneys recently who have cut down on their support staff to either none or simply a secretary (and they used to leverage 3/4 staff.) 1.) Because work is spread around to a ton more lawyers these days and there will be nearly double the number of law graduates for legal jobs created as projected by the bureau of labor statistics. 2.) Lawyers can leverage technology and do more work than they could before which means the billable hour is going out the window for a lot of big firms. 3.) Consumers can leverage technology and not hire a lawyer. What used to be a quick form and clipable $1,000 for a business formation can now be done for $79 on legal zoom. For run of the mill questions lawyers would bill for consumers can just google and get an answer. 4.) Because there is less work per lawyer firms are competing with each other to reduce their billable rate / cost of services that is creating a race to the bottom in a lot of markets.Will there always be a need for skilled, competent, lawyers? Yes absolutely.
The profession won't go away. Are there easier ways to make six figures that require less work, offer more reasonable hours, and won't saddle you with 100k in debt? Yep.
I mean think of this, in some cities (and I know that it depends on the COL) you can graduate with a 2 year associates degree as a medical technologist and make as much as a starting attorney with 7 years of schooling and professional degree.
Health care is a bubble, if you want to make money follow where the wealth is flowing and that's a gravy train for years to come. I would suggest to people who don't have a certain direction as to a type of law and do not have an engineering or hard science background as required for patent law to look at elder and health law. Even if you don't make it into a firm at graduation you can sell yourself to insurance companies, hospitals, healthcare providers for management and administrative positions with your law degree that will start you at six figures.