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Monday, September 19, 2011

Sobering Numbers: Law Graduates Who Do Not Become Lawyers

Brian Tamanaha

It goes without saying that people enroll in law school expecting to become lawyers. They might attend law school because they always wanted to become a lawyer, or because the economy is poor and they have no other opportunities. But when they plunk down $150,000 or more in tuition and living expenses for a degree, they do so with the reasonable assumption that they will obtain jobs as lawyers when they get out.

This obvious point bears repeating because members of the legal academy frequently assert that a law degree is a plus for all kinds of careers. Setting aside the plausibility of this assertion--it is dubious at these prices--students expect that at the very least they will become lawyers.

Thus it is sobering to learn that, for the class of 2009 (nine months after graduation), at 30 law schools, only 50 percent or fewer of the graduates obtained jobs as lawyers. At nearly 90 law schools, one-third or more of graduates did not land jobs as lawyers nine months after graduation. 2009 was not a good year for legal employment, but 2010 was even worse (numbers are still unavailable), and 2011 will not be much better. Many of these schools, I should add, had poor success rates even before the current legal recession.

What happened to all those law graduates who failed to get jobs as lawyers? We like to imagine that they became consultants at McKinsey, or stockbrokers, or silicon valley entrepreneurs using their patent law knowledge, or FBI agents, or other success stories. Or they later became solo practitioners and are doing fine hustling up clients. Or they finally obtained a lawyer job a year after graduation. There is little evidence for any of this, of course.

The chart below plots the percentage of the 2009 class that obtained lawyer jobs against law school by rank (fourth tier schools have no rank, so are indicated after the line in alphabetical order). As one would expect, the top schools tend to have the highest rates of graduates who obtain jobs as lawyers (in the 90 percentile range). What this suggests is that law graduates who can get jobs as lawyers gratefully take them.


Graduates who do not obtain lawyer jobs, with the highest proportions clustered in the lower ranked schools--let's be honest--are not landing jobs at McKinsey.

Any law school at which one out of two graduates do not get jobs as lawyers must think deeply about the value of the degree it is conferring, and about the amount it is charging for that degree. Few law schools plainly disclose this information to prospective students. One can only guess how many students would attend a given law school if they were fully aware that their chance of being employed as a lawyer, after investing all that time and money, amounts to a coin flip (or worse).

This is a list of law schools at or below this threshold, indicating the percentage of the 2009 class (nine months after graduation) that obtained a job requiring a JD (this includes private law firm jobs, government legal positions, public interest legal positions, clerkships, and in-house legal positions)

University of D.C. 26.17%
Western State 27.50%
La Verne 30.97%
N.C. Central 36.23%
Florida A&M 37.84%
Ave Maria 39.73%
Barry 39.93%
Ohio Northern 40.20%
Western New England 40.32%
Toledo 41.60%
Santa Clara 42.45%
Capital 43.07%
Touro 44.37%
Appalachian 44.68%
Northern Illinois 45.61%
Cooley 45.92%
Texas Wesleyan 46.62%
Liberty 47.73%
CUNY 47.82%
Arkansas-Little Rock 47.85%
Whittier 48.02%
Pace 48.62%
Quinnipiac 48.65%
Chapman 49.06%
Michigan State 49.09%
Valparaiso 49.63%
John Marshall (Atlanta) 49.78%
New England 50.12%
Vermont 50.16%
Maine 50.24%
Northern Kentucky 50.62%

Law schools that wish to improve can accomplish this by admitting fewer students.


[These employment rates were taken from information compiled by Law School Transparency (see excel)--multiplying the percentage employed nine months after graduation by the percentage of employed with a job requiring a JD. LST relies upon information law schools report to US News. I have not confirmed any of these numbers. Although the relationship is strong, the percentages do not always correlate with rank. A few law schools in the upper echelon have relatively low rates (i.e. American 59.50%), and vise versa.]

Comments:

Here is what the website of the David Clarke Law School says: :GRADUATE PLACEMENT: In keeping with our mission of training attorneys for public service careers, a disproportionate number of graduates take positions in that sector. Statistics for the Class of 2010 reveal that 17% took public interest positions, compared to the 2009 national average of 5.7%, and 21% of the class took local or federal government positions, compared to the 2009 national average of 11.4%. Nearly 60% of our graduates accepted jobs in the private sector, with more than half in private practice, particularly at small law firms representing individuals, families and community businesses. 2% are continuing their legal education in advanced degree programs."
 

The website of NC Central says that 88% of the Class of 2010 is employed and that 65% of employment is in jobs where JD required (another 20% in jobs with "JD preferred").

Also, today's National Journal reports that the University of Illinois is investigating allegations that it misreported LSAT and grade statistics.
 

It's critical to know how grads starting solo practices and/or small firms report their incomes. A far greater percentage of grads of regional schools than of the most selective schools do still hang out a shingle directly out of law school. (Whether that's a good idea, and whether law school prepares them adequately to do so is of course another issue.) As I understand it, the BLS does not count such folks as "employed" because they are self-employed. I don't know how the law schools count these individuals, or even how they report themselves. Your post seems to imply that they may not be counted in the numbers you present.

I think it's important to note that a good number of law school applicants do not go to law school with the intention of being lawyers. They go with the belief that a JD will make them more generally marketable -- in business, policy or politics. This belief is by and large misplaced, but this pool of students exists all the same.

I don't mean either of these points in defense of the law schools' general lack of transparency, rather to indicate that there are in fact complicating factors in the numbers.
 

I really like your article. It’s evident that you have a lot knowledge on this topic. Your points are well made and relatable. Thanks for writing engaging and interesting material.

Split Testing
 

I really like your article. It’s evident that you have a lot knowledge on this topic. Your points are well made and relatable. Thanks for writing engaging and interesting material.


Split Testing
 

UMassPreLaw,

These numbers are supplied by the law schools. Solo practitioners count as "employed in a job requiring a JD," so they are included in the figures I provide (my post was ambiguous on this, as you say).
 

Thanks for the clarification on the self-employed grads.

I'd also be interested in historical numbers from the law schools -- are these numbers dramatically worse than they used to be, or has the employment picture always been less rosy than most of us believed? I assume there are fluctuations over time, in concert with the economy.

In any case, thanks for this post and all your posts on legal education -- very helpful.
 

Diane,

The Law School Transparency site has employment numbers for 2007 (on an excel), which is pre-crash, when the legal employment market supposedly was doing well. Although the 2007 numbers are better than the 2009 numbers, they were still dismal at many schools.
 

I think it's important to note that a good number of law school applicants do not go to law school with the intention of being lawyers. They go with the belief that a JD will make them more generally marketable -- in business, policy or politics. This belief is by and large misplaced, but this pool of students exists all the same.

Any evidence of this? It certainly doesn't match up with my experiences in talking to be people considering going to law school.
 

This chart is the most important data summary I have seen related to the value proposition of law schools. Thank you for compiling and posting. Bill Henderson
 

I think it's important to note that a good number of law school applicants do not go to law school with the intention of being lawyers. They go with the belief that a JD will make them more generally marketable -- in business, policy or politics. This belief is by and large misplaced, but this pool of students exists all the same.

Any evidence of this? It certainly doesn't match up with my experiences in talking to be people considering going to law school.


My experience is anecdotal and now 16 years old, but my law school class had journalists, doctors, social workers and business people who planned on using law in their work. These folks probably made up between 5% to 10% of the class.
 

I think it's important to note that a good number of law school applicants do not go to law school with the intention of being lawyers. They go with the belief that a JD will make them more generally marketable -- in business, policy or politics. This belief is by and large misplaced, but this pool of students exists all the same.

Any evidence of this? It certainly doesn't match up with my experiences in talking to be people considering going to law school.



My experience is also anecdotal, but based on my 7 years of work as the pre-law advisor at a large public university, where somewhere between 250-350 students and alumni apply to law school each year. The myth persists among them that a law degree is a generally marketable one, not just in law but in business, policy and politics as well. It's a very rough estimate (as I don't keep statistics on my advisees' reasons for going to law school), but I'd guess that at least 1 in 5 believe that a JD is worth pursuing even if they don't want to become lawyers.
 

Bart,

That might have made sense 16 years ago, but tuition has more than doubled since. Furthermore, there is no reason to think that the many graduates who did not land lawyer jobs in recent years are using their legal knowledge as doctors or in "business."

It is important that law schools face the reality of poor employment results head on. For too long we have relied upon old articles of faith and anecdotes to assuage concerns about the fate of graduates.
 

I just want to clarify that I'm not defending the students who are going to law school thinking that a JD "will open a lot of doors" for them. I spend a lot of time trying to debunk that myth. My point is merely that it persists, as does the larger phenomenon of individuals going to law school for all sorts of "wrong" reasons (i.e., when they haven't researched it enough).

So again, not to argue that the law schools shouldn't be more transparent about their graduates' employment numbers -- they absolutely should. But let's also acknowledge that some (unknown and uncounted) number of people go to law school with either no intention of becoming lawyers, or without a well formed (well researched) intention to do so. In the latter group, there are some (I'd guess a small group, but I really don't know) who not only regret their decision but further choose, rather than suck it up in a firm for a while, not to become lawyers at all.
 

I concur with Diane and Bart that a significant percentage of students enroll in law school without having any intention of practicing law. And this is not entirely unreasonable. Given that we live in an administrative state, those who aspire to work in politics, business, or even law enforcement can benefit from a law degree.

That being said, I think the point that Brian raises is whether this is a sensible decision given the high cost of law school and that the traditional fallback of working for a law firm will not be available to most students.

One partial solution to this problem might be for law schools to expand their part-time programs (thereby allowing more students to pay their way through school and amass less debt) while admitting fewer students into their full-time programs. This won't increase the number of legal jobs, of course, but fewer law students would need to find Biglaw jobs so as to make law school a sound investment.
 

Mr. Tamanaha,

Please allow me to describe how you, once again, have (I hope) inadvertently overstated the career prospects of law graduates in one of your reports. This is not the first time you have done this, and I sincerely hope these posts of your are not intentionally misleading advertisements for law school. In other words, I hope you are not taking fraudulent, overstated and misleading statistics and presenting them as an indictment of law school in the hopes that they will be accepted, i.e. I hope that your real motive for posting this was not to communicate the statement: "Look, even at a tier 2 75% of the grads work as lawyers" because that 75% number is completely wrong.

Here is why. How could LawSchoolTransaprency provide a "jobs requiring JD" percentage that is HIGHER thant he "reported non-zero salaries" percentage?

For example, at Loyola Law in LA, of their entire class, only 39.6+1.5=41.1% reported a non-zero salary.
http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/clearinghouse/?school=loyola&show=salaries&class=2009

Yet we are to believe that 60.3% of the graduates were in jobs that required a bar?
http://www.lawschooltransparency.com/clearinghouse/?school=loyola&show=charts&class=2009

How could the statistics collecter know that the job required bar passage, but not know what the job pays?

What you should do, Mr. Tamanaha, so as to correct the misleading chart you posted above, is to add a line showing "Percentage of graduates with a known salary" which would be the sum of the variables "graduates are represented by salary quartiles" and "graduates are Article III clerks"

Otherwise, your chart will do more harm than good.

Sincerely,

Concerned Citizen
 

As alluded to above, no US law school makes the most recent data on the number of their graduates currently employed in work requiring a JD available to would-be law students, still less information on how many found work capable of repaying the debt incurred in paying the astronomical fees being asked for in anything less than 25 years. That such information could and should be made available to prospective law students to aid in deciding whether the decision to go to law school is worthwhile is indisputable.

Prof. Campos is gathering signatures for a petition asking that more transparent statistics should be made available
by, for example, implementing the proposals of the Law School Transparency Project (on whose statistics Prof. Tamanaha's piece is based). He will not publish it until 100 current law faculty at ABA-accredited law schools have signed it, although any law graduate may sign it. For anyone interested in signing, here's the link:

http://insidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.com/2011/09/law-school-petition.html
 

If there are many students who want a law degree for purposes other than practicing law, couldn't law schools meet this demand by offering a one-year program that provides a general background, perhaps combined with later CLE type training that addresses particular specialities.

Surely there is no reason to spend 3 years in law school if you don't intend to practice law.
 

@Concerned Citien - Tamanaha is using the statistics provided by LST, both LST and Tamanaha recognise that the stats have problems, not least of which are the low reporting rate, the lack of auditing, and the fact that this stats are self-reported and therefore subject to bias, and can be rigged by the schools concerned by hiring graduates during the time when the statistics are collected.

You are quite right to say, however, that the real percentage of those employed in the legal profession is probably much lower.
 

Brian:

I agree with the points you have been making about the cost effectiveness of a law school education. When I did my own analysis almost 20 years ago in the Army, no elite private school education made economic sense unless you wanted to work insane hours in a large firm to payoff the mortgage-size debt. As a place for an undergrad student to delay looking for work in the current Great Recession, law school of any type makes absolutely no sense.
 

Law School Transparency provided Mr. Tamanaha with two statistics (which in the case of Loyola were)

(a) Percentage of graduates with known non-zero salary: 41.5%

(b) Percentage of graduates working in a job requiring bar passage, which we're supposed to believe is 60.3%.

How does that work exactly? Does the surveyor ask "Does your job require bar passage? Yes. Ok Does your job provide compensation? You don't know? Oh ok I'll count you as someone working as a lawyer with an unknown salary. I hope you find out what your salary is one day." Further, the former is sourced rigorously by LST and so we have to conclude the latter is the one that's wrong. So why did Mr. Tamanaha report the latter without even mentioning this inconsistency?

This is not the first time Mr. Tamanaha has reported statistics that he claims indict law schools, but that actually portray law schools in a far more pleasing light than the truth would allow.
 

Concerned Citizen,

You misunderstand the numbers--the percentage of jobs that require a JD is a subset of those graduates who have jobs.

Thus, for example, 50 percent can have jobs, and 100 of those people can be employed in jobs that require a JD.

I use these numbers because they are the only ones available. You may be right that the actual numbers are even worse--that law schools are publishing false figures. The problem is that I have no way of knowing that.

Setting aside outright fabrication, the main way in which these numbers overstate results is that a certain percentage of the jobs requiring JDs will be temp jobs or part time jobs. The data is not compiled in a way that would allow me to break this out.

If there is some way to provide better information, I would be happy to do it. Meanwhile, these employment numbers look quite bad--and that is the message I am trying to send with some factual support.
 

Of course, there is a better way of gathering and presenting information, and that's the one proposed by LST in their white paper and supported by Campos's LST petition linked to above. Anyone who wants to see this implemented should at least sign the petition, as I suspect Tamanaha already has done.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Diane,

Pre-law advisers are critically important in getting accurate information to students thinking about law school. I understand that students will not always be persuaded by this information, but they should at least be told about the odds.

I also think concrete information about debt--put in a way they can appreciate--is essential. If you have not seen it, please take a look at this post about debt (and if you can, please circulate it among pre-law advisers): http://balkin.blogspot.com/2011/08/snapshot-of-law-student-debt-that-every.html

Thanks
 

The big obstacle to getting any law professor to sign that petition is that Campos is organizing it, and he has no credibility. Maybe Tamanaha would do it?
 

Or maybe Prof. Tamanaha would endorse the petition and lend it some of his credibility. Several of the Campos haters have mentioned him by name as the respectable alternative.
 

You needn't even visit Campos's site to do it. The email address for signing is here:

lawschoolpetition, at, gmail.com

The recommended reforms, which do not require any additional effort by the law schools either in collection or publication, can be seen in Part III of the white paper available here:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1528862

Dislike of Campos is no excuse.
 

Brian -
Thanks for the link - yes, I do in fact repeatedly share that debt information (and the source you linked to) with my students, in as many different formats as possible (including linking to your post). And I have certainly seen a number of changes over the last few years among my students: a greater percentage taking time off before applying, a larger number taking the scholarship from the less well know school over full fare at the higher ranked one (when both are regional schools, this makes a lot of sense), and a significant drop in the number of applicants. Most pre-law advisors assume/attest that the students who have stopped applying are the very ones who didn't have a good idea of why they were going in the first place (I think of them as the "I like to argue" crowd). I would not be surprised (or saddened) to see the number of applicants drop even further again this year.

But it's also very difficult for 20 or 21-year olds, who have never made any significant financial decision in their lives, to grasp the impact of the numbers. They don't have a feel for the reality of $100,000. It's not unlike low-income people taking on adjustable rate mortgages. The money is so beyond the scale of anything they've had to deal with before that it simply makes no sense.

This is why I am grateful for the increased attention in the mainstream media (largely thanks to folks like you, Bill Henderson, LST and even the "scambloggers") to these issues. Last year for the first time, I had several students telling me that they wanted to go immediately to law school but that their parents thought it wasn't a good investment. (In prior years, I've more consistently heard, "I want to wait, but my parents think I should go right away.") Finally, I'm thinking of the parents as my allies rather than as the unseen oppositional force behind my students. And that is a very good thing.
 

The role of the pre-law advisor is new to me. Back in the late 1940s when I decided I wanted to be an attorney, I made the decision on my own as I was not aware of any such advisor group, assuming one existed back then. My decision was made at a time when the only law school in the Boston area requiring an undergraduate degree for admission was Harvard; there were at least five other law schools in the area that required only two years of college. I do not recall my exact thinking about my decision as there were no lawyers in my extended immigrant family. College and law school tuitions were relatively low compared to today, so that commuter students could help their parents in covering much of the costs. (As I recall, Harvard Law tuition in 1953-4 was $500, the highest in the Boston area. I paid $400 for that year when I was graduated.) There was an attorney who lived in our Roxbury neighborhood in Boston. As a child, I remember seeing him go up my street to a private garage to get his Cadillac to drive to his Boston office. That Cadillac was impressive, as well as the respect with which he was treated. I was of course exposed to Perry Mason books and attorneys portrayed in movies. (We didn't have a TV back then.) The two years of undergraduate pre-legal were a breeze. When law school came, I thought my study habits were quite good. But a practice test cured me of that and I really got on the ball. I learned quite a bit about business, economics and other disciplines from the cases we read on subjects that I had not been exposed to at home growing up. I enjoyed law school, with all its hard work.

Segue to the late 1990s as I planned to close my law office and semi-retire from the practice. I contacted my local high school and offered my services for an after class program for students on what a lawyer does, how to become a lawyer, etc, as many students may not know. Alas, my pro bono effort was rejected. I would have been able to bring in guest lawyers from the Boston area prominent in their fields to speak to and with the students.

I don't know if any such after-class programs are offered in high schools today. But I think that would be a good starting place for those who want to go to law school to be lawyers. It might be preferable to a college student preparing to graduate then considering to go to law school, whether to practice law or not. Of course, the pre-law advisor role should be helpful, especially in explaining the economics which is currently a serious problem that I did not face. But I find it difficult understanding why a law school graduate would spend all that time not having the goal to practice law. Yes, the JD looks good on a resume. But I learned fairly quickly after being admitted to the MA bar that I had a lot more learning to do to have a successful career in the law - and it never stops, even in my continuing semi-retirement. (Use it or lose it comes to mind.)
 

i was one of the fortunate ones in that my parents had the means to send their children through college and beyond. law school was paid for, and i came out of it in 1982 with no debt -- and no job. i ended up hanging a shingle in the town where i went to law school, 1200 miles from home, and struggled for a few years before finding my stride. whether or not i am considered successful now i will leave to others to decide.

when i made the decision to attend law school instead of getting a degree in social work, as i had originally intended, much like several others who have posted here, i thought i was set for life. it would have been nice to know what the real odds were. at this point in my life, with my career beginning to wind down and retirement only a few years off, i do not discourage students from going into law, as it remains an honorable profession, regardless of what certain politicians think. i do not, necessarily, however, encourage students to take on the debt load and headache that the profession has become.

i would note that my brother has a law degree and has never practiced, having gone into academics instead. i would be interested on his take on this subject.
 

Shag and phg,

It's a different world for students today, as you know. Annual tuition at a half dozen schools is now $50,000, and many others are in the $40,000 range.

When we went to law school (class of 83 for me, tuition $5000) if was not a life devastating event if things did not work out. Now it is.

Diane,

Thanks for the information. It's good to hear that the word is getting out through pre-law advisers.

Brian
 

Shag -
Thanks for sharing your experience. I teach a class on the history and politics of legal education, and your brief narrative is an excellent illustration of how much law school admissions have changed in the last 60 or so years. Much more vivid than the more scholarly accounts.
 

I am a Professor and Assistant Dean for Career Development at Michigan State University College of Law. I appreciate the issues that Prof. Tamanaha has raised in his post and I have the following comments.
Prof. Tamanaha indicates that our "JD required %" is 49.09%. We reported it at 50.8%--the difference being essentially that he included in the denominator those students who didn't report at all. What he did not note is that there is a category of "JD preferred", for which we reported a percentage of 22%. So, between, "JD required" and "JD preferred" we had a total of approximately 73%. If we look deeper into the "JD preferred" category, about half of those students (26 out of 54) were doing legal work as "law clerks," which we conservatively reported as "JD preferred" even though one could make an argument that some or all of them could be classified as "JD required". So, Prof. Tamanaha's conclusions about these numbers (i.e., that only the grads reporting as "JD required" are working as lawyers or doing legal work) are flawed, which is often what happens when you try to draw conclusions from what is essentially still high-level data which has subjective elements.

I also want to address the assertion that Prof. Tamanaha makes that this data point is key to analyzing the "value of the [JD] degree". Besides being a flawed data point (as I indicate above) the JD degree does create value for those who do not practice law. For example, 1)the candidate with the JD degree will move closer to the top of the pile of resumes for the non-legal job, a critical benefit in a tight job market; 2) there is often room for greater advancement within the organization for those with JDs (e.g., accounting firms have told me that the JDs are often given priority); and 3) if the non-legal job doesn't work out (layoffs, etc) the person can always use their JD degree to work as a lawyer (whether solo or otherwise). In that same situation, the non-JD has much less to market or use. We receive feedback from grads regularly as to these points.

Elliot Spoon
 

Elliot,

Thank you for your elaboration of MSU's employment numbers.

What my post focuses on is the percentage of graduates who acquire jobs "as lawyers." It is therefore not "flawed" to isolate on jobs that "require" a JD. As you know, "JD preferred" jobs are not jobs as lawyers.

I understand your desire to count "JD preferred positions" as successful outcomes, but that is not the case for people who attend law school with the expectation of becoming a lawyer.

The difference is not just in status, but also in the nature of the work and in the income level.
 

While it may have been true when you were a law student, it does not "go without saying that people enroll in law school to become lawyers."

When I started in career services in 1992, that was still true. My first questions to 1Ls were: When did you decide to go to law school? How did you make the decision?

As the answers became less clear and focused, 10 years later, I added "And when, if at all, have you decided to become a lawyer?"

Law school had become random grad school for a significant number of students. Many people believed that they could go to law school and that it would "open every door" as if it were an app on Harry Potter's wand. A startling number of students had never spoken to a lawyer, much less made the decision to practice law.

Is there good information available that supports the notion most or all students want to be lawyers, or that they have particular goals in the legal profession? I'd love to see that.

It is very easy to project that veterinary students want to become veterinarians. It is much less clear to me that most or all law students want to be lawyers.
 

When I started law school in 1988, there were a number of people in my section who had not firmly decided they were going to be lawyers. They quickly found out what a problem this is: coming out at the top end of your class takes quite a bit of work, and while it made perfect sense for me to learn the ins and outs of the federal rules of civil procedure -- since I knew clients would soon be paying me to understand them -- people who did not plan on being lawyers did enough to satisfy their curiosity, and to pass the course. All very fine, but outside the very top tier, the decision about whether to be a lawyer at a private firm gets made for you, if you're getting Cs in first year classes.
 

Is there good information available that supports the notion most or all students want to be lawyers, or that they have particular goals in the legal profession? I'd love to see that.

The students with the greatest ability to become lawyers (i.e. those at the highest ranked law schools) become lawyers in much higher numbers than those with less ability to do so. Absent *at least* some sort of plausible explanation why the pool of students would have different motivation at comparatively priced but differently ranked schools the assumption must be that the pool is homogenous with respect to motivation.
 

Brad - I think it's simply easier to get a lawyer job out of a brand name school, even if you aren't highly motivated. At the less selective regional schools, you have to take a far greater degree of initiative.

If you are lucky enough to go to one of the highly selective schools, you are being constantly recruited. The path of least resistance for the directionless is to allow oneself to be recruited. At the less selective school, where no one is coming on campus to recruit you, the path of least resistance for the directionless is to go do something else. Or unemployment.
 

Dear Elliot,

A few notes about the points you raised about the value of the JD degree outside the legal setting, now please keep in mind while these are totally factual they must be considered subjective as to be objective would mean that you are complicit in perpetuating a huge scam on thousands of unsuspecting:

1) Your grads are full of shit. In the real world employers in non-legal fields treat see JDs as pariahs, failures, or overqualified and the only glowing remarks made about its value is in the rejection emails if a student ever receives one.

2) Advancement in accounting firms you say? Oh what does that require first? A fucking accounting degree and significant experience before someone tacks on another degree to differentiate amongst peers? Am I supposed to go become a CPA now and hope that a decade from now my unused law degree will pay off?

3) So you're telling me that I paid 150,000 bucks lost three years of my productive use to end up where I was before? I have the same ability to do something other than law after all of that wasted time & money? Bully for me and the thousands of other people who could make more money begging on the side of the road with less effort than being a solo!!!



Tell me, with the kind of sheer brilliance you've displayed from the great lakes in a total display of disconnectedness & parroting of a couple of responses from some of the bigger assclowns amongst the alumni, when do you expect to solve Fermat's last theorem as originally intended? Surely you must be close as some have reported.
 

I had to weigh in simply to say that as someone in the Lost Generation of law school graduates (May 2010), in the present job market, my JD (from an average tier one school) has proved absolutely worthless to me in securing a non-law-related job. Thus, I now live with my parents and have the joy of fighting with my creditors every 4-6 months over the fact that I literally have $1 in my bank account, no job, few prospects, and 0 ability to make payments on my loan at present.

Thank you, law school. Thank you so much.
 

It occurred to all those regulation graduates who failed to get occupations as lawyers? We like to envisage that they became advisors at McKinsey, or stockbrokers, or silicon valley entrepreneurs utilising their patent regulation information, or FBI agencies, or other achievement stories. Texas Ranch For Sale achieve better ranch.
 

Dear Professor Tamanaha,

As a recent law school graduate, I am understandably concerned about the employment data you have reported for my alma mater Touro Law Center. What I do not understand is why there is such a great disparity in employment between 2009 graduates and graduates of Touro from the previous years. For example, in 2008 73% of graduates were employed within nine months in a legal position requiring a J.D.In 2007, it was 74%, 2006, 73%, 2005, 66%, 2004,74% and in 2002,84%.
Was the 15.3% "unknown employment status" factored in by you as unemployed? If so, would it not have been more accurate to simply exclude that percentage from your overall calculation? If 15.3% is indeed an "unknown" how can it be assumed that those not reporting are unemployed? It seems from my own research using U.S. News and other student-sponsored sites that the statistics for Touro Law center for the years prior to 2009 are more accurate.

Barbara Burke
 

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I've written a book that may help some of the students that have commented here.

It's called "How To Avoid the Law School Trap and Achieve Lasting Success in the 21st Century."

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