Monday, November 16, 2009

$u$piciou$ Law $chool Employment $tati$tic$

Here are some supposed employment figures gleaned from my recent trek to the law school fair at the Grand Ballroom at the University of Utah. Take a look at the following schools and their purported, respective numbers – these figures are based off of the glossy brochures and “fact sheets” handed out by the law schools at this particular fair.

If anyone disputes these figures – including representatives from the schools - you can e-mail me at and I will be more than happy to furnish you with a photocopy of the figures you want.

University of New Mexico – 93% placement rate for Class of ‘08

Villanova – 95% employed or seeking another advanced degree, within 9 months of graduation

Seton Hall University – 94.7% employed (with 100% reporting); private practice annual median salary was listed as $125,000.

Albany – 94 percent employment rate

Cardozo – 94.3% hired within 9 months of graduation (with a supposed 97.8% report rate)

Utah – 98% employed (100% reported, according to the sales agents at the S.J. Quinney booth); average salary is listed as $89,021, with a salary range of $42,000-$215,000

Pace – 94.3% employed or pursuing another advanced degree for Class of ‘08

St. John’s – 96 percent employed for the Class of 2008

Whittier – 91.0% employed or in degree programs for Class of ’07 (according to the “At a Glance” handout); If we go off the “Whittier Law School Class of 2007 Employment Report,” 91.4% of survey respondents were employed, 3.9% are pursuing a degree full-time, 3.0% are unemployed but not seeking work, and 1.7% are unemployed and seeking work. The purported response rate was 96.68 percent.

UCLA – “UCLA Law At a Glance” states that the employment rate is 99.1% for the Class of ’08; Median starting salary is allegedly $160,000.

[I apparently misplaced the information from these schools: Kansas University, Roger Williams, and Touro College. The materials for the following schools did not provide “concrete” figures for employment or starting salary info: Columbia, Indiana-Bloomington, and Pitt.]

TTR analysis:

Apparently NO ONE who graduated from the University of Utah’s college of law in 2008 FOUND A JOB MAKING LESS THAN $42,000! Sorry - Utah is known as a low wage, non-union state where employers (including the government) do not pay much. Nice try, though.

Whittier and Pace are both fourth tier, fourth-rate law schools, but yet both claim that more than 94 percent of their 2008 graduates were employed or seeking a degree. Well, I want to see the breakdown of those figures by job type, industry, wage, median salary, full-time vs. part-time, etc. I also want to see how many of these schools’ grads are working as baristas, bartenders, nightclub bouncers, aerobics instructors, masseuses, parking enforcement, vacuum salesmen, doc review specialists, paid attorneys, unpaid legal assistants, paralegals, hotel managers, telemarketers, clerks, security, and law enforcement. And I want to see an independent audit by a renowned, reputable outside firm with no connections to the law school, university, or the ABA and state bar.

This actually goes for all of the schools listed above. The fact that the ABA does not require an independent outside audit of these employment and starting salary statistics SHOWS CONCLUSIVELY that the ABA does not care about the average law student. The students are a means to an end – nothing more.

The ABA accredits these schools. It could require the schools to submit to an annual independent audit of their supposed figures, in order for the respective schools to retain their accreditation. Law school is big business in this country. The banking cartel and the law schools (and the larger universities) make out like bandits. You – the lowly student – are the one left holding large sums of non-dischargeable debt. After being indoctrinated from the time you were in pre-school that "Education is the key," I guess it is just easier to punish you than it is to go after the perpetrators of this ugly lie. What a great system, huh?!?!


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  2. since I left Drexel last year as a 1L, I'd love to see you do a post about their first year graduation employment stats. Employed rate was hovering at 50% last June.

  3. Haha, that first comment(an internet get rich scheme in case you delete it) actually seems pretty credible compared to those law school statistics. I almost wish I'm unemployed when the 9 month survey comes from my school, so I won't bloat their employment number for the class '09.

  4. No way in hell half of Seton Hall grads in private practice make $125,000 coming out of law school. There is also zero chance that Albany has a 94% placement rate. If that is the case, then prove it. Submit those numbers to an auditing firm.

  5. I don't know how you did so terribly in a third tier law school. Your writing is excellent. That being said, you should not be giving advice to 0Ls - you are not exactly a success story. go write a book or something. put your creative juices to positive use.

  6. The SETON HALL LAW TOILET is a scam and a cesspool. The dean should be arrested and the doors should be padlocked shut. Shame on them. Shame.

  7. Law school is a disaster. The most crucial thing is to get the word out about the coming financial holocaust to prospective students, so they can see before its too late.

    I comment the author of this blog firstly for doing this, but many many more law students need to come out and start leafleting and picketing the law schools, also leaving comments on facebook pages, anything to alert them to the complete and utter financial destruction they will committ by doing a law degree- at virtually any law school.

  8. We need a total mobilization to take on the law schools.

  9. I'd be interested in a poll that asks how many recent grads actually receive one of those employment surveys.

  10. Nando-have been following this blog a bit and will be attending law school next year. I have a position lined up for after graduation, and a decent back-up plan in case all else fails. Well aware things could go wrong but one thing I think you need to remember is virtually every industry is crap at this time-even if the legal one is worse than others. I really want to get into the work I am doing, and do remember you only have one shot at this whole life thing; I may be able to find a secure 30K a year job, but how much advancing will I do and how happy with it can I be? Here is an interesting link that validates much of what you say; So, it is not as if though this info isn't out there; I'm not sure how much you are really exposing that any serious prospective student shouldn't know already.
    Point blank though, I agree with "top 14 or bust" and seriously question if you put enough thought in your own decision to attend law school or enough effort while there. A lot of the info on this site is useful, and you say you want to inform others, but you come across as incredibly bitter. Feel free to disagree, but your post on the Iowa government cutting jobs borders on gleeful that Drake and Iowa grads may have trouble finding work. I think you can't just blame everything on Drake or the ABA; at some point you are culpable for your own decisions. Anticipating your response I pose this question; did you do EVERYTHING in your power to graduate first in your class? Study 60 or more hours a week and kiss as much ass as possible for three years? Go out of your way to network extensively? Try to transfer up? While these are a bit over the top, if you did not do these, you have at least some measure of responsibility. You could have also dropped out at some point if you were fully aware there were no job prospects in the field for you. What I take away from your website is this (and it is one of your main points on the heading); don't go to law school unless you have a reasonable chance of sucess and are fully aware of all that it entails.

  11. 7:45 P.M. Everyone that goes to law school plans on and usually does study their ass off and kiss ass galore. That's not the point. There is a curve and someone...even if they got 100% of what was required... will get an F on the exam. Because everyone cannot get an A. I studied like a beast for my first semester, but focused on the wrong things, and did badly first semester. I made straight A's the rest of my 3 years. But it was too late. My fate was determined. In any case, I did make it into a big firm eventually--based on my career--not my grades. Alas, I was laid off. Fucked, fucked, fucked. You will be no different. By the way, #1 in my class was laid off and recently opened his own office. So, what's your words of "wisdom" to him?

  12. I have not received an employment survey. I have also not received a SINGLE email or call from CDO, even though they told me that they would do "everything they can" to help me find employment in the region of the country I was looking at. (Good thing I found my own job.) What is one more lie?

    Will, I hope kissing ass is not part of your big game plan. I have known for some time that it is beneath me; I have never been a brown-noser. Plus, law schools use blind grading. You can suck up to the teacher, and it will profit you nothing on your final essay.

    Also, it is easy for you to give this advice when you have a job lined up. However, I am glad that you have something lined up - and a backup plan. (We'll see how that goes. Life has a way of diverging from our grand plans.)

    I did study for 60 hours a week my first semester, and did poorly. After this, I decided to study "my way." This meant, I chose to spend some time with my wife and our friends, go out, watch movies, read non-law books, while studying more like 20 hours a week. And I did much better as a result.

    Good info is out there. However, people who have decided to go to law school tend to ignore this type of advice. THEY ONLY LOOK AT THE UPSIDE OF GOING TO LAW SCHOOL. The typical pre-law student thinks that they will inevitably continue their academic success in law school and make law review. They also readily buy into the blatant lies of the law school brochures, Princeton Review, academic "counselors," and other industry goons.

    Lastly, the legal industry has been over-saturated for decades. The current econonic state is not the only culprit for the lack of law jobs - although it has exacerbated the problem. Furthermore, with legal services being outsourced and offshored, do you really think that many of these legal jobs will return to the U.S.? Have you read ABA "Ethics" Opinion 08-451? Also, how will you be able to compete with experienced, competent attorneys for the same finite number of positions?

  13. My school (third tier, full scholarship also) just sent me an email regarding the employment survey. Jobs like masseusse and bartender indeed "count" -- we were told so. I am happily employed. But so many of my friends are not employed as attorneys but as "law clerks" 20-30 hours a week with no benefits for very small PI firms. That's gonna count too. That's how they get the rosy numbers.

  14. Angel-
    I will not be working for a firm or in the private sector. Barring an injury (which could easily happen), my getting laid off would be quite difficult. And if such were to happen, I should get disability pay. Ironically, and much like law in general, some people would vehmently argue against going into this government sector at all costs, while others absolutely love their time in it. I don't feel a need to say what exactly I will be doing, but what I've said should make it obvious. If I do get laid off and come out in bad shape, I have a back up plan and will be coming out with no debt. Not sure I offered up any words of "wisdom" in my last post (I asked serious questions because I was curious as to the answers and offered up my own plan). Sorry to hear #1 in your class has been laid off; I wish him luck in his private practice. If you wish to attack me and tell me what a mistake I am making, perfectly fine. But do remember there are people in every industry who are not happy with what they are doing, and many of them would not be happy doing any type of work. Well, I've said my piece and need to be off, best of luck to you Angel and Nando.

  15. Being defensive is the biggest indicator of self-doubt and fear.

  16. Not sure my reply constitutes being defensive in the truest sense, but when people are telling you that you are destined to fail and you are arguing otherwise, well then, yes you are going to have to defend a given position. I explained my situation and why I believe I am making a sound choice in response to those saying otherwise. Also, you didn't adress any of what I said or demonstrate how I was going to fail. In fact, all you did was spout some amateur pop-psychology. Please stick to the topic at hand.
    What truly amazes me is those who think that being nasty and rude to others on blogs over the internet is a good way to dissuade others from making a given choice; that talks logical argument and a dialogue, which Nando does a good job of.

  17. @8:18

    If you've got a relative/friend that is promising you a good job after graduation then I say kudos to you. That's of course no guarantee of success but it's better than nothing.

    The reality is that the legal industry is fast becoming like the acting business. You have a few people who make a ton of money (Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, etc.) while the rest struggle to make ends meet.And that's not including those who couldn't get acting gigs and found something else to do with their lives.

    With an oversaturated legal market, legal outsourcing,self-help sites like legalzoom, and a public that rarely wants to pay a lawyer for his services,the odds of success are growing narrower.

    And of course it doesn't help that most law schools publish employment statistics which are flat-out lies.

    That's what this site and others are trying to tell people about. You don't have to accept the information, just don't say you weren't warned.

  18. Will, let’s get back to the main point of this entry for a second:

    I guess my main question to you is this: Is it okay for law schools to present false and misleading employment and salary statistics (because prospective students can presumably be rigorous and find this out on their own)? So, is it okay for baby carriage manufacturers to lie about the safety of their product? Parents-to-be can determine whether the product is safe, after all. But why put the onus on the consumer, while letting the supplier off scot-free?

    The primary purpose of these employment and salary figures is to attract more applicants, correct? And prospective students do have a reasonable expectation that these figures are fair and accurate, right? Would you also say that pre-law students rely on these figures in deciding whether to go to law school?

    With that, what is so wrong with me publishing this entry and simply calling these schools to the carpet? Do you honestly believe that half of all Seton Hall Law grads in private practice start at more than $125,000? Or that no one from the Class of 2008, at the University of Utah’s law school, found a job earning less than $42,000, upon graduation?

  19. Nando
    Overall, I think we agree on much more than we disagree about. I do not think it is fair or correct for these schools not to be forced to fairly disclose this info. I don't believe half of all Seton Hall grads are making 125K- I'd imagine only half or so of the recent grads are employed in the legal industry. Could even be much less. I think you are actually right to call these schools out. The ABA needs to cut down on the number of schools and start letting people know how it is. I know lots of people who wound up at TTT and TTTT with no plans for post-grad and just assumed that going to any law school, and finishing any rank would enable big prospects. Sites such as this would have helped them avoid the AWFUL decision they made to attend. Major reform is needed and soon, or things will just get worse.
    I guess where I am just irked is that this site strikes me as a bit too negative in tone. If someone gets a half-scholarship to an in-state school ranked 20-50 and is positive they want to make law their calling, fully aware they may fail, I feel they should go for it. They may not suceed and take on 30-40K of debt, but they will probably ultimately be able to get on their feet. Again, assuming this is what they really want and know what they are getting into, 100K+ of debt because you think you'll come out of John Marshall making a ton is a much different story. That I think is where we have different opinions.

  20. Nando:

    Just to clarify, "Will" is not the person who is arguing with you. Will is the person agreeing with you. The person that posted at 11:23 is not Will.

    With everyone being anonymous on these blogs I guess it gets confusing.

  21. You are right. I'm at work and I was heading to an appointment when I wrote that. Thanks.

    To Anonymous at 11:23, I mention in point 4 of my header that it is okay for one to attend law school if that person is FULLY AWARE BEFOREHAND that their huge investment in time, energy, and money does not, in any way, guarantee a job as an attorney or in the legal industry. This site is designed to educate and inform people before they make this important decision.

    As far as my negativity goes, I don't apologize for that. Law school was a terrible decision for me and many of my classmates. I am not the type of person who gets screwed over a coffee table and then smiles and acts like nothing happened.

  22. Fair enough. I think the bottom line we can agree on is that going to law school is a big investment of at least time and energy, and in most cases money, that needs to be carefully researched and considered. Those going just to put off the real world or because they believe its an easy path to big bucks should probably save themselves a lot of time and effort. And those taking the plunge should have some sort of exit plan in case all else fails! Best of luck to you in your current job!

  23. you're a fucking idiot. shittty law schools and ttterrible employment prospects have nothing to do with conservative vs liberal. divorce the two issues or die in a fire. xoxohth.

  24. To the piece of shit above who calls himself xoxohth:

    Where in this blog does the author mention conservatives vs. liberals? He is blaming the industry, not a political ideology. Greed is not exclusive to either camp. It's a basic human trait.

    Develop some reading comprehension skills, you cockroach! Also, comparing the blog author's writing to yours, it appears that he has at least 50-70 IQ points on you.

  25. Geez... I feel the hate. Nando, you're the best!

  26. Hey, Nando, check out this story about a student at the other law school in Iowa.


    It just keeps getting better and better at Iowa.

    First, the law school hires an incompetent, bumbling diversity tool of Dean who publicly humiliates a respected, well-intentioned professor for having the temerity to use the “N” word in the context of a pedagogical exercise dealing with the effects of certain words.

    The law school then sees its reputation nosedive as the school shifts focus from being a solid, well respected place to obtain a good legal education to one where the emphasis is on diversity and preparing people for non-paying civic engagement jobs.

    Then, the law school gets sued, not once but twice, IN THE SAME YEAR, for discriminatory hiring practices.

    Then, four of the best, productive and most dynamic faculty members flee for other institutions, further highlighting the ever decreasing ranks of qualified and productive professor.

    Now, it’s illustrated that the school is admitting someone who clearly has no business in law “school” – but should instead be another number in the legal “system” – this time as a convicted felon. Gotta love those AA efforts, right? How cynical do you have to be to admit someone like this in the name of “diversity?”

    Unbelievable. Anyone who has any intention of actually entering the legal profession should avoid this school like the plague. The place is obviously run by incompetent boobs.

  27. I have heard many similar stories about Iowa lately. It seems that the law school is more intent on improving “diversity” among its student body and faculty than it is in actually producing competent attorneys!

    Then again, that's par for the course. The ABA and most law school deans are fuzzy-headed, pet-issue liberals, i.e. they care more about Sudan, Tibetan monks, and “increasing diversity” than they do about the declining standard of living in this country!

    So, to the reactionary simpleton who posted at 6:23: I recognize that liberals have also contributed greatly to the education industrial complex – maybe even to a greater extent. After all, liberal academics think that EVERYONE should go to college and grad school.

    Iowa’s college of law has real problems. Yet, the number of applicants to the law school has gone way up. ATL recently reported a 62% increase in the number of applicants.

    Can I suggest someone start a blog called Hawkeye Reality?

  28. this is such a great blog, kudos to you for putting it out there. every bit of information that makes its way onto the web, especially when as well written as your posts are, helps. i link to blogs like this every time someone tells me they are considering law school. i'm an '06 T15 graduate and i'm still working for a fraction of biglaw salaries and struggling under a crushing loan debt burden. not that i'm asking for anyone's sympathy--i know how lucky i am, but just trying to illustrate that even those of us who got a measure of what was promised are scam victims to a degree.

    reading all of this just enrages me, but it's a good rage, because the only way anything will ever change is if we stand up and do something about it.

  29. Nando:

    Here's a comment from the ATL story on the soon-to-be convicted felon who was admitted to Iowa Law.

    I can almost guarantee that this comment was posted by a particular person who happens to be a lecturer at Iowa. What is obvious from this comment is that the person who posted it has an uncommon level of arrogance, and is patronizing to and contempuous of law students. This is what people are getting for their tuition dollars at Iowa.


    If I understand your push, you seem to be going here: if you cannot get a BIGLAW job, you should not go to law school.

    I say:
    1. Even if the economy is in the dumps, there are things you can do with a legal education other than help Behemoth A sue Behemoth B.
    2. Doing work outside of law won’t kill you. Disappointing maybe, but hardly the saddest employment story I’ve heard.
    3. I’m glad to see law school student entitlement crushed. 3 years of working with study aids doesn’t make people money magnets for a law firm.
    4. Lawyers helped build this type of all-or-nothing employment system. Suck it up and live with it or else get to work on changing it.

  30. Nando, I never was as bothered by the Drake 1L Adam as you were, but the blatant and outrageous illiteracy of his most recent post is troubling.

    It is just an all around fail, and if you choose to beat him up about it, that's ok with me.

    Keep up the good work.

  31. I just happened to stumble on your post. I happen to attend cardozo, and wanted to write and say that the school does in fact disclose the information that you wanted (a breakdown of sector, percent employed, percent reporting, etc., all right on their webpage. I did a comparison between cardozo and two of its main competitors, brooklyn and fordham, and found that cardozo disclosed the most information (especially compared to brooklyn).


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