Thursday, May 27, 2010

Profiles in Cowardice: James Leipold, Executive Shill at NALP

We scam-bloggers tend to take a cynic’s view on things. Instead of relaying inspirational tales, such as John F. Kennedy’s Profiles in Courage, we prefer to go in the direction of Profiles in Hypocrisy and Angry Future ExPat’s A Study in Douchebaggery. After all, the work world is a big flaming ball of ripe, fecal matter. With this backdrop, TTR proudly features the gutless James Leipold of NALP.

“The national economy is still volatile and the legal economy remains anemic,” James Leipold, executive director of the Association for Legal Career Professionals, said in an e-mail. “Law firms will likely have to try a variety of experiments and novel practices in the coming months to manage both finances and talent amidst all of this uncertainty.” [Emphasis mine]

Yes, you read that right. Jimmy said that the legal economy remains anemic, back in July 2009.

But, yet the NALP published its employment report for the Class of 2009, and claims that 88.3% of this class – for whom employment status was known - was employed within 9 months of graduation!

“There are dozens of reasons why the employment report for the Class of 2009 will be different than those that preceded it, and dozens of reasons why the data that has been gathered will require special explanation and analysis to make sense of it,” said NALP Executive Director James Leipold in commentary accompanying the Selected Findings. He noted that while the employment rate of 88.3% may seem stronger than expected, when the statistic is teased apart, it begins to reveal some of the fundamental weaknesses in the job market faced by this class. For instance, a different survey conducted by NALP found that between 3,200 and 3,700 graduates with jobs in law firms had their start dates deferred beyond December 1, 2009, with many deferred well into 2010.”

A shill deserves NO RESPECT - as he serves as a confidence man for industry, thereby giving false hope to legions of people. An accomplice also seeks to give the false impression of not working for industry. Respect has to be earned, James.

Just look at what Jimmy told the NALP Annual Education Conference, on April 30, 2010 – where he was the sole panelist for “The State of the Legal Economy and the Legal Employment Market”:

“But Leipold told us that NALP is also counting deferred students as employed — even though NALP KNOWS that some deferrals will never result in actual employment.

Since it was me, Leipold, and 11 other people who didn’t want to look tanned when they got back to work on Monday, I decided it was appropriate to question Leipold about this. Why was NALP providing “cover” for law schools when we all know that prospective law students will believe these inflated numbers? Doesn’t this make NALP complicit in this law school scam? To Leipold’s credit, he answered truthfully:

“If we said to law schools you have to report a significant percentage of your graduates as ‘unemployed,’ they wouldn’t do it.” [Emphasis mine]

Did everyone see that?! The executive director of the NALP admits that the employment and salary figures are nonsense. The law schools are reporting students who have had their job offers deferred as EMPLOYED. The fact remains that many of these deferred people will NOT be hired by their firms. But, as a good little shill, Jimmy makes sure to publish these SELF-REPORTED figures at face value.

“We'll give James Leipold, NALP's executive director, the last word: "This represents an enormous interruption in the usual recruiting and employment patterns that we have come to expect. I don't think anyone expects recruiting volumes to pick up significantly during 2010, though the worst does seem, we hope, to be behind us."

The worst, you HOPE, is behind us?! Do you also hope that people will stop tossing plastic bottles in the trash? This article appeared on March 3, 2010.

But, yet in this piece from May 25, 2010, you prognosticate lower employment figures for the class of 2010 and that of 2011. So which is it, James? Is the worst (hopefully) behind us, or will things get worse?

“James Leipold, NALP’s executive director, is predicting lower employment numbers for the class of 2010 and probably 2011, but others think things could pick up.”

When you get a moment, go ahead and ask James to grow a spine. Here is Jimmy’s email address:


  1. you deserve a nobel for this work. many people are so misinformed about law school. the law school industry has done a great job of protecting itself and its interests by creating a mystique. i think they did it by not talking about it. law is still an old boys'/family club. don't be a minority/female statistic for them OR for the banks. take out loans for worthwhile debt - entrepreneurial pursuits and such.

    on the housewives of new jersey, caroline's two sons are pursuing different "careers" - one son wants to open a stripper car wash chain. the other son is at fordham law school. just wait and see that fordham grad albie will be washing cars for little brother soon :)

  2. Lietold even looks like a sniveling, cowering little weasel. What a wimp!

  3. While I appreciate him admitting the books are cooked, he, NALP, and the industry in general need to go further. Everyone in the know is aware of the fraud in law school employment stats, but the people most likely to be unaware of this are the ones who need to know most: prospective students. It helps me little as a current student to know that I have been had, other than strengthens my desire to drop out.

    When I matriculated in the fall of 2008, I was definitely swayed by the rosy employment and salary numbers reported by my school (Minnesota). How was I to know it was complete and utter bullshit? We're told "don't trust anyone, take everything with a grain of salt," but come on. A prospective law student is going to trust his school, trust the industry associations supposedly designed to look out for the profession, and trust US News. Why wouldn't they, when it is all passed off as 100% true? To say that incoming students should just "do their research" and expect that information coming out of their schools is false is ridiculous. This not being a banana republic (at least not until recently), most of us were brought up to believe we could trust our educators. When you're fed the same rosy picture from your school and numerous organizations, you're more likely to believe it.

    Given that the legal industry pays so much lip service to ethics, candor, and honesty, it's downright sad to see people like Leipold, or greasy TTT deans, outright admitting everything is a lie. I can't even begin to describe the anger, outrage, and disillusionment that I feel, along with the tens of thousands of others who have recently been taken by law school charlatans.

    If scamblogs were as popular and were receiving as much press in 2008 as they are now, I would have had more of a fighting chance of avoiding law school. Please keep it up, you guys are truly doing the Lord's work. I truly hope that this stuff is influencing prospective students

  4. I suppose those of us who have joined the good fight should be happy if we save even one poor sap from falling into the law school scam.

    However, notwithstanding the clearly fraudulent practices that the entire law school industrial complex engages in, the one sticking point is the perennially delusional 0L.

    It was either the ABA Journal or some other blawg that reported that incoming students believe that job prospects are likely dismal--for everyone else but them! This is what we are really fighting against here: our own innate douchebaggery.


    you guys have GOT to read this article. The president of the CA bar just grew a spine.

  6. James Leipold earned this profile, with his conduct. He KNOWS that the lawyer job market is weak and pathetic, i.e. anemic.

    Yet, he continues to play his dastardly role. He is the executive director of a group that publishes these employment and salary statistics - which are DESIGNED to lure in more unsuspecting lemmings and desperate students. James serves as a modern-day pied piper, helping many young people to a life of financial hardship, agony, and disillusionment.

    Perhaps, a better analogy is the Children's Crusade, whereby thousands of young European Christians were sent off to convert Muslims and protect the "Holy Land." After all, the law school industry tricks thousands of young people - every year - by making them believe that they can attain upward mobility via hard work, dedication, and serving others. Instead of these rewards, what awaits legions of JDs is misfortune, debt servitude, and bitterness.

  7. i'm so glad i waited before applying to law school. blogs like this weren't around when i graduated from college. these scam blogs need to be more known and publicized however. the tls forums are still full of people who don't know better. fools.

    the new jersey kid will be alright. his family's got ties to the mafia (allegedly).

  8. it is astounding to know that these law schools make students sit through professional responsibility but they have no compunction about their fraudulent employment/salary stats. and to think that there is an honor council that would dare to hear some complaint made by a professor that some student had cheated. never mind the fact that the prof is being paid with money defrauded from credulous 23 year old kids.

    so, NALP should just shut down. Lie-pold admitted that its a fraud. anyone with any integrity would refuse to be a part of this act. or they would have some nads and call the schools out. the market would fix itself if it was for their coordinated activity. may liepold rot in jail.

  9. Of course this guy's going to be a shill for the law school cartel. That's his meal ticket!

    What do you expect him to do? Get a real job?

  10. I think we found our new guest blogger:

    "Of course, there's always law school.

    Never mind that applications are at an all-time high and that thousands of legal positions at investment banking firms have disappeared forever. Never mind that recent Ivy League law school graduates are now working as file clerks, substitute school teachers, census takers. Never mind that in order to pay back the $200,000 it's going to cost you to go to law school, you'll need to land one of those plum legal jobs at Goldman Sachs or AIG or one of those other firms that are no longer hiring because they owe so much to the lawyers they already did hire to defend them from lawsuits brought by the government's lawyers, public prosecutors who took those jobs only because Goldman Sachs and AIG weren't hiring."

  11. Liepold looks like a sissy. Damn, I would love to plant a right cross against his little chin. Nice bowl cut , btw, douche bag.

  12. I walked past the Prudential Center in Newark this morning. Apparently Seton Hall Law is having their commencement ceremony today. I found it disturbing to see many happy faces among the families and friends of the graduates yet the most of the graduates had the look of being "lost" or depressed. I am sure the august Dean will give an inspiring speech about how these grads have an opportunity to prove their mettle in the face of our times and economic adversity. One class out the door, in comes the next wave of suckers.

  13. Uh, could you please take this guy's ugly mug off your blog. The toilet pictures are not as disgusting. Thx.

  14. Does anyone wonder if Nando was disbarred or screwed by the ethics board, which explains the relentless bitterness?

  15. By relentless bitterness, do you mean relentless truth in the face of mass marketing blinding people for decades? Remove head from ass then think. Thanks

  16. @2:36

    Just wait till you graduate from Drake.

    Then you'll know what it really feels like to be screwed.

  17. I would like to sincerely thank TTR and the commentors on this site. I was accepted to 4 different law schools for the fall of 2010. DePaul was one of them. I was uneasy about the idea of taking on roughly $180,000 of debt over three years. Their paltry scholarship offer of $3000/semester was little more than sales tax on the estimated $60,000/semester I would have had to take to attend and live in Chicago. Same story out west where I was accepted by Santa Clara law. $180,000 in debt made me uneasy. One morning I was researching employment figures for those schools and accidentally came across this blog and started reading. It didn't take long before I declined my seat at all 4 schools I was accepted to. It's not that I don't believe in my ability to succeed in law school, it's that I'm a firm believer in the return in investment principle. I wouldn't sink $180,000 on an investment if risk of return was as low as it is going to law school.

    I was one of those who was completely swayed by the. Numbers given by US News and by the schools itself. I make good money right having just finished my undergrad, but I was convinced that going to law school would allow me to automatically make six figures. I've found out that is complete, forgive my language, bullshit.

    Thank you TTR, for saving me from $180,000 of insurmountable debt and three wasted years of late nights and stress. Please keep doing what you're doing. I won't be the only person you save from this scam.

  18. Jess,

    I'm happy for you! Make no mistake, you have made a wise decision, and as a result you (and your family) will be significantly better off for the rest of your life.


    Keep it up, brother!

  19. Jess-

    You should send your comment to a big media outlet. It is your voice that will do more to get the truth out that any "bitter law grads :)" will ever do.

    OLs that see the truth (unlike us poor saps) will have more power to change the system than anyone else.

    Take your saved life and make a difference!

  20. @2:36, do you expect everyone who gets screwed to just smile and say "everything is fine and life is great"?

    If my relentless pursuit of the truth offends you, then you should find somewhere else to spend your time. For instance, you could read some drivel from snake-oil salesmen, such as Joel Osteen and Tony Robbins. Perhaps, you can watch a Disney movie - where everyone has a happy ending. Or maybe you would prefer to read some Horatio Alger tales.

    This site is about REALITY. We are talking about REAL people’s lives – people who have been consigned to a life of debt servitude, because of their faith in the higher education industry. If THAT doesn’t bother you, then you have some serious issues. It is also quite possible that you are simply not intelligent enough to understand the implications of having an ENTIRE GENERATION of educated young people who WILL NOT be getting ahead, i.e. buying homes, getting married, starting families, earning decent incomes, etc. – on a nation. Don’t feel too bad. Plenty of people are economically illiterate. However, you should get up to speed on the facts before you speak on this issue.

    James Leipold and his organization play a role in this situation. They put out misleading employment and starting salary figures, which they KNOW are false and misleading – with the intent of attracting more applicants to law school. How is that honest? How can YOU support this disgusting conduct?!

    To 5:53 – yes, attending Third Tier Drake is a bad choice. I received a scholarship, and my wife held a job the entire three years I was in school. We were frugal and owned used cars that had been paid off for years. I still ended up with $37K in additional debt. I knew SEVERAL classmates who took on an extra $120K in non-dischargeable student debt for a TTT law degree. Many of them who are licensed, practicing attorneys are making less income than I am. What does that tell you about law school, as an investment?

    Jess, you are welcome. Tell your friends and relatives about this site, and the other law school scam blogs. And make sure to let any pre-law students know about these blogs. I hope you continue to follow – and comment on – these boards. The reality is that there simply is NO REASON for someone who makes a decent salary to drop that and go to law school. There are no guarantees in law school. Everyone is shooting for the top, and only a few can reach that goal.

    I am thrilled that you looked at law school PRIMARILY as a financial decision. This is the approach everyone should take to higher education, i.e. “What are the realistic chances that I can make a positive return on my investment?” Many law students want to “save the world.” Well, how the hell can one do that if he cannot even pay his bills, rent or buy food?

  21. A couple questions: 1. If this blog's author thinks a true fraud has been committed, since you think you have such great data and evidence, then why not sue your school for breach of contract (or some other theory)?

    2. If this blog's author is so down and out on legal employment...then how about find a non-law job like the REST OF AMERICA works at every single day! Or better yet, MOVE OUT OF IOWA!!!

    I mean, c'mon, even someone with a H.S. degree can eek out $30k a year. Surely with all of your brains, you can figure something or not.

  22. @5:43, if you'd bother to look at the blogger's profile on the right, you'd see that he's EMPLOYED in a NON LAWYER POSITION. read much?

  23. Several points about this blog:

    A. This blog generalizes too much. The employment prospects for a newly minted tax or IP attorney will be FAR different than from a new attorney seeking practice in criminal defense. The prospects for employment vary depending upon the hundreds of legal areas of practice and it is disingenuous to make a broad, blanket statement that "there are no attorney jobs." All attorneys are not created equal (and I'm not referring to the tier of a graduate's law school or her class rank). Your experiences, knowledge, and intended areas of practice will control employment more than the market forces.

    B. What this blog asserts could be applied to any other educational institution in this entire country. Therefore, the broader question is, why even get an education? In fact, all/most schools inflate employment data. All/most schools want your money and business. This is no secret. Believe it or not, NO degree ever guarantees employment. University admission practices have stayed the same for decades. Besides, what moron enters law school on the basis on the school's "employment data" alone anyway? Nobody. When I entered law school, I (and most others) knew all the numbers were just marketing anyway. But, the bottom line is that it's ALWAYS up to the individual - and never the school - to find yourself legal employment.

    C. Lastly, as a previous poster mentioned, if you think you can prove that you relied on your law school's fraud, then why not sue your law school? This will give you something legal to do. However, if you can't find any cause of action, then why are you blaming the law school?

    (Also, I am not biased towards either side of this argument. This is just my opinion).

  24. "the Children's Crusade, whereby thousands of young European Christians were sent off to convert Muslims and protect the 'Holy Land.'"

    Ludicrous. The Crusades were not intended to convert anyone.

  25. That's funny, Sisyphus. I could have sworn the Crusades were originally fought to bring/restore Jerusalem and Palestine under Christian rule, i.e. wrest control of the Holy Land away from Muslims. Later Crusades were intended to push back the Muslims, who had made inroads deep into Europe, i.e. the Moors occupied the Iberian Peninsula for several centuries.

    Various religious groups and world powers wanted control over other regions. What would you surmise that was for? So they could learn new languages, see more sites, try different foods and meet interesting people? Perhaps the conquering armies were so benevolent, they simply wanted to ensure that inhabitants of the Holy Land could live in peace and tranquility. Is that it? Or is it more likely that the Crusades were fought so that dominant nations and religious groups could establish a larger empire, assume control over local resources, and gain more converts - even if by the sword? Do you think these religious zealots invaded other nations, so that their conquered foes could keep their religious beliefs and traditions?

    At the very least, when you cut down large numbers of enemies you reduce their overall population and influence. I suppose in your world, defeated nations never take on the customs of their conquerors – just as people in Latin America do not speak Spanish, right?! Better luck rolling that boulder back up the hill tomorrow, “Sisyphus”.

    Back to the central point of this entry: the executive shill of NALP has admitted that they know the law schools will not supply accurate info.

    @arnettlaw, look up Bank v. Brooklyn Law School, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16180. Todd C. Bank could not get past the school’s motion for summary judgment. He specifically alleged that Crooklyn’s starting salary figures for its graduates were false or misleading. It appears that the courts are not interested in hearing these cases, at this time. This is certainly not a surprise. Judges, prosecutors, attorney generals, DAs, and tons of legislators have law degrees. While they may understand that law schools fudge the numbers, they have no real interest in exposing the scam. Try asking your bishop to open up the church’s financial books to you.

    Many industries in this country are based on fraud. Does this excuse the lies perpetrated by the the law school industry? Should we let the law schools off the hook because of this situation? Also, I think most young people understand that, for the most part, a four-year degree qualifies one to answer phones, lick envelopes, and work in senior centers wiping people’s butts. The law schools feed off of this desperation, and THAT is reprehensible. A legal education is NOT a standard good or service, where you can walk away from the debt by filing for bankruptcy. This is life-altering debt. This is not analogous to a $600 laptop that quits working in 12 months. You might still be under warranty when this happens – and if not, you are out $600, NOT $130K.

  26. Nando, besides the fact that Bank failed to establish associations-in-fact among the entities listed in his action (a basic component of any RICO claim), Bank also failed to establish fraud. Actually, he may have had better chances by staying out of federal court and forgetting RICO.

    Regardless, it doesn't matter. The real reason that any law grads would have trouble finding employment is because they don't really know WHAT they want to do. After all, it seems that's why 75% of people went to law school in the first place - because they couldn't figure out what they wanted. Law firms see this and they know who is just "spraying the field" with resumes, versus those who are truly committed to a certain focus or cause.

    As a 3L at a 2nd Tier, I am amazed at fellow students whom I ask, "what type of law do you want to practice?" Most students state that they have no idea. This is a shame.

    Overall, Nando, you are right - there is very little legal employment available for those who have NO idea what law they want to practice!

  27. There's very little legal employment available for those who know EXACTLY what kind of law they want to practice either.

  28. I think a subject that really needs to get more discussion / research is that college/grad school was never intended or proven to make someone "get a better life" Originally, it was just a place for the elite/rich to send their kids with jobs waiting in the wings after graduation.

    Nando, you should torpedo those stats that show "college earners make more" and do a cash-flow analysis for law-school or any school to show how this myth can be debunked. Just my 2 sense

  29. @3:20pm: Absolutely, patently false. Tax and IP lawyers can literally walk into a relevant firm and take their seats. Its probably the general practitioners who face heavy competition. Basically, it all depends on what you do!

    Besides, just look at the sizable number of firm profiles (in any given region) and you will find many newly minted attorneys employed from all tiers and all qualifications. Some have connections. Some have great qualifications. Some also have neither.

    I also want to raise the possibility that this author is trying to scare away future legal competition. Either that, or he may be bitter for some reason or another unrelated to the school's employment data.

  30. @Arnett

    Do you actually read this blog or do you just like making straw man arguments?

    Nando has never said that there aren't any legal jobs. There are jobs in every profession. He's just trying to bring attention to the fact that the demand for legal jobs GREATLY exceeds the supply, for a variety of reasons.

    If in fact you are a 2L, then you'll find that out the hard way once you graduate.

  31. @ Arnett

    Look friend, you don't know what you are talking about if you think that a recently graduated law grad who is interested in breaking into tax law can just waltz into any law firm he wants. Now, the IP kids certainly have better chances (and even then it needs to be certain types of IP, not just any hard science background will do).

    It is true that many law students have no idea what kind of law they want to practice. But what you don't seem to understand is that even if a law student does have an idea of the exact type of law she wants to practice, that doesn't guarantee entry into that specialty, ESPECIALLY if it's tax law. Trust me, I have been there done that my friend. I recently graduated and have a job lined up, but it isn't the type of law I wanted.

    Honestly though, unless you have amazing grades in law school, and even then, it is extremely difficult to actually practice in the exact area of law you had envisioned during law school.

    You are simply not getting it my friend.

  32. @7:46 pm and @3:55 am: You both paint with an overly broad brush. Although you think that a lawyer is a lawyer is a lawyer, its just not true. As with anything, employment depends on many factors other than the job market alone. It depends on what area you practice, the region you're in, your life experiences. Just because law school openings saturate one region doesn't mean that it saturates all regions. Grades and tier play some role in employment, but many other factors are involved too.

    Overall unemployment for the general population is 10% right now. For lawyers in the industry, it is far less. So when you say that supply GREATLY outstrips demand, it depends on your definition of "greatly." Considering that attorney unemployment is less than 10%, I tend to call this "competition."

    Also, things are a little tougher now because of the recession, but is that your law school's fault? No. It just means the same thing it means for the rest of our nation - times are tough.

    Besides, not everyone gets an education for simply economic reasons anyway. Believe it or not, many get an education to better yourself, broaden your horizons, and learn to problem solve. Education generally is expensive, but is that a justification not to attend? Not for me it isn't.

  33. "Overall unemployment for the general population is 10% right now. For lawyers in the industry, it is far less."

    How did you arrive at the conclusion that lawyer unemployment is "far less" than ten percent? Real unemployment (including underemployed people) has been hovering around 17% for a while now. It's hard to believe that lawyer unemployment is that much less than the rest of the economy. Who's buying all the legal services?

    And who are you counting as "employed" lawyers? Do solos count? If so, do they count even if they'd prefer salaried employment and are only in solo practice because they can't find anything else? Is a solo with only one client "employed"?

  34. Arnettlaw is either a delusional law student, a shill for a law school or a law school administrator. I have been practicing law for almost 20 years. I have never seen the unprecedented amount of resumes my firm receives on a weekly basis from lawyers and law students. What should this tell you? It tells me that finding legal employment is harder right now than in any other time in this profession. With the exorbitant amount that law schools charge unsuspecting students, it is quasi criminal what the law school industry is doing, which is in most cases sentencing a kid to indentured debt servitude in exchange for a miniscule chance of being able to obtain a legal job that will enable the repayment of student loan financing. Unfortunately, many lawyers are taking non-legal jobs to support themselves and these types of jobs are what arnettlaw and the law schools count towards the cooked employment "statistics." As for tax and IP lawyers, yes these areas are more concentrated and up until maybe a year ago, attorneys in these practice areas were somewhat safe. I am now starting to receive resumes from attorneys with tax LLMs and engineering/hard science backgrounds--and at my firm we don't even have either a tax or IP department. Yes there will be a few members of the Class of 2010 that will be employed at a law firm. Attrition at firms makes that happen. However, I suspect the numbers will be low; nevertheless, law schools and folks such as arnettlaw will tout these limited examples as reasons why the law school and law firm models are not broken. I am not buying this bs and neither should you. Is law school a good investment these days? For a very few it still is (e.g., full scholarship, wealthy background, guaranteed legal employment, political connections). However, for the average Joe college grad, it is a disastrous decision. The idea that these blogs are created to scare kids to lessen the competition is ludicrous. As some posters in other threads have commented, a newly minted attorney without legal experience is a walking malpractice case waiting to happen. I am not worried that 5 kids from lets say, Georgetown Law, are going to open up shop across the street from my offices. My clientele retains my firm based on our track history, experience and results. My clients understand that you get what you pay for, thus, I am not against competition. Sure the five kids from Georgetown will try to undercut my hourly rates but the client will realize that there are no savings when these kids are billing for catching up on the learning curve.

    The law firm industry is changing based on a number of factors, including the recession. The changes mean fewer legal job opportunities (thanks to outsourcing abroad) and quite possibly the end of lockstep compensation (at biglaw). If I was a law school administrator I wouldn't worry about these blogs. Today's generation of college students are deeply brainwashed into believing that a law degree is prestigious and opens the doors to wealth. As a proud member of this profession I will say that this profession is no longer prestigious and the access to wealth is the exception rather than the rule. If I were a college student today, knowing what I know, I would pass on law school. It's just not worth it.

  35. Unemployed attorneys wait for someone to feed them. Employed attorneys hunt for their kill.

  36. Quick heads up:

  37. "Unemployed attorneys wait for someone to feed them. Employed attorneys hunt for their kill."

    Cute, but this doesn't really answer my questions. Might make a good tagline for a Steven Seagal movie, though.

  38. This pencil pushing dweeb Leipold is a lowlife rat fink. He is a parasite and a slug.

  39. Thanks for sharing this point of view. Nice work!

  40. A government bailout is coming for all you people. Barack will save you. Of course he will make it conditional that you work for the government in "public service" for a year or two at a fat government salary. Liberalism at its best.

  41. Larry Craig's GOP ToiletJune 1, 2010 at 10:16 AM

    Hey Anon above,

    Go eff yourself you deluded Foxbot.


    Is this you, Arnettlaw/Mr. 3L at a 2nd tier toilet? Is daddy going to provide you with the start-up funds? I can see that the site is still under construction.

    You are very proficient at declaring absolutes, i.e. “absolutely, patently false”; employing empty platitudes, i.e. “Unemployed attorneys wait for someone to feed them. Employed attorneys hunt for their kill”; creating straw men; making up figures off the top of your head; and regurgitating drivel from your school’s CDO and your “professors”.

    You are aware that there were 43,587 JDs pumped out of ABA-accredited law schools in 2008, are you not? Also, from 1980-1981 to 2007-2008, a cumulative total of 1,083,231 law degrees were awarded by ABA-accredited law schools. Just IN THE LAST FIVE academic years combined, ABA-accredited law schools have handed out a total of 213,685 law degrees.

    When the legal job market is OVER-SATURATED, many people with strong credentials will be unable to find gainful employment as attorneys. There are JDs from top 10 schools who are unemployed. What is the reason for this: negative attitudes, poor work ethic, or bad breath? It is YOU who grossly paints law students with a broad brush, i.e. according to you, 75 percent of your classmates have no idea why they are in law school.

    Furthermore, unemployed lawyers are not waiting for someone to feed them; they are actively looking for, and taking, crap jobs – and non-legal positions – so that they can re-pay their student loans, pay their bills and rent, and put food on the table. How dare you cast these desperate people in such a bad light, law student! Where is your condemnation of the law school industry?!

    Also, SHOW ME where lawyer unemployment is “far less” than the supposed general unemployment rate of 10 percent! Provide some proof to back up your argument.

    According to this PDF, the nation’s 198 ABA-approved law schools produced 43,587 graduates in 2008! Now look at the number of jobs where bar passage was required: 30,334. That means that roughly 69.6% of JDs from the Class of 2008 were (allegedly) hired in jobs that required bar passage. Do you still BELIEVE that law schools are not producing too many JDs?!?!

    Those who go to law school for non-economic reasons are those relative few who come from privileged backgrounds, those who have made lots of money in their careers, or those who have wealthy spouses.

    Finally, if you are a prospective or current law student, who are going to go with on the state of the industry – a third year student at a second tier sewer or a practicing attorney with 20 years’ experience?! As several others have pointed out, you simply do not know what you are talking about, Arnettlaw.

  43. Jess is a sterling example of someone who's smart enough to be a successful lawyer but made the much smarter decision to steer clear of the money pit that is law school today. Congratulations on a good decision, Jess -- I made the same one after a serious talk with a successful, practicing attorney and don't regret it for a moment.

    I don't know how to respond to people who brag about their son's/nephew's/cousin's etc. fantabulous job prospects. Could they be lying, or could I have actually run into the relatives of the two or three LS grads who are actually getting good legal jobs? On the train the other day my seat-mate was bragging about his son who just graduated from LS; when I said, "Oh the job market is tough for LS grads these days, he snapped, "Not for my son. He's had six job offers but isn't taking any of them, he's waiting for just the right opportunity." Ok, that DOES sound hinky--maybe all the offers were at Target or Wal-Mart(The school is a T2 in an area with T1-T14s). But a few days ago a bar acquaintance was yakking about his nephew who graduated from LS; when I made my standard "oh the job market..." he at least admitted that this was true but it wasn't going to be true for his nephew because he was guaranteed a job at the place he was working at once he finishes school (NYLS).

    I dunno. Maybe I've tapped into the hidden job market for law school grads! All by my lonesome!
    But somehow I doubt it...

  44. arnettlaw got bitch-slapped. Good job, even though this isn't exactly a great accomplishment.

  45. @DancingOpossum

    Yea, sounds like some parents are bullshitting you. In this market, you have to be related to an ex-president to get anywhere near close to six job offers, let alone turn them down!

  46. Parents are the masters at bullshitting, especially middle-class boomers who grew up believing that their kids were destined to do even better in life than they did. They cannot and will not accept reality, and they definitely don't think a college or law school would lie to anyone.

    My dad counters all of my arguments about how much law sucks and how I am heading towards being an unemployed loser with, I kid you not, "look at our neighbor, the solo tax practicioner." Okay, the guy has a pool and drives a Beemer. Great. If that's all it takes for you to believe in something, then I have some bridges I would like to sell you.

    I honestly would have dropped out after my first semester were my parents more supportive. I didn't have "the grades" (only top third at a T1, and in this economy I knew I needed more). On top of that, I fucking hated it. But like most 20somethings, I turned to my "wise" parents for advice and support, and got pressured into sticking with it. That's not to say that it was all that kept me: some "friendly" talks with career services and members of the alumni board also convinced me to "stick with it." But kids should trust their parents, and many naturally do. When schools are misleading you, and your family is "on your side" and "believes in you," I don't blame a lot of people for slogging ahead.

    As time went on, I reached the decision not to listen to anyone and that I needed to drop out to avoid financial suicide. My parents begged me to stay in, even offering to dig into their (already underfunded) IRAs to pay my tuition, as I was concerned about the heavy debt load. I appreciate the effort, mom, but I'm not going to have you be an impoverished old lady all so your son could work $15/hour doc review.

    The extent to which boomers have been sold on the value of education, and a legal education, is insane. They do not listen to reason, they disregard the dozens of damning articles I forward them and say "you will be different," and they volunteer to torpedo their own retirement, all for this cardboard dream. I'm not having it's frightening how much they are invested in this.

    I appreciate all the support and faith in me, as I'm sure is the case for thousands of students who have people pulling for them. But we students have to do what's right for us. Bailing is the right decision for me (and my wallet).

  47. This blog is full of it. Even if there were no traditional law firm jobs (which there are), then there are plenty of businesses that would love to pay a little more to have someone with a J.D. on their side. This blog claims that businesses are turned off by the idea of a J.D. - well, some companies might view it as overqualified, but many others would love it just for your leadership and problem solving abilities.

    Moreover, a J.D. means professionalism. If you're running a professional operation, you want professional minds. To multi-million dollar corps, paying more for better people is an excellent investment. Let's say Z owns a $ million/yr consulting business, dealing with high power clients. Who would Z rather hire for a new position? 1. H.S. graduate for $25k; 2. Undergrad for $40-50k; or 3. J.D. for $70k.

    EASY, #3. Its a no-brainer! When you're a multi-million business, you want QUALITY people. A little extra salary for better and more accountable people is just a small transactional cost of doing business.

    Hell, some companies spend $millions on advertising alone every year. What's a few extra thousand for a J.D. instead of a h.s. grad? Nothing!

  48. anonymous, it takes a lot of strength to make a decision like yours in the face of so much pressure and your parents' insistence--which of course is motivated by love and pride in you. These are powerful influences.

    My brother went through the exact same thing. Both of us were strongly pressured to go to LS by our parents, and my brother eventually succumbed. He absolutely hated and detested LS and griped constantly about the debt load he was incurring (mind you this was 15 years ago, and he was at a state school) and dropped out after one year to pursue his real dream, which was to be a tennis bum. I said "good for you" but my parents were apopleptic. You would have thought he'd become a heroin addict and child molester from their reaction. To this day--although he now has a decent, secure job and owns his own home--my mother nags him that he could have been a lawyer!!

    She does the same thing to me--up until a few years ago she was offering to pay for my LS tuition. It is CRAZY, that's all it is.

    They are attempting to fulfill some long-gone dream that just doesn't exist anymore, even in the face of overwhelming evidence they just can't give it up. It's almost as if they can't be proud of you without that J.D. on your wall.

    It may be that the parental nut is the hardest one to break.

  49. If you're doing doc review work for $15/hr as a licensed attorney, then 1. You either have very low self esteem; 2. You secretly want to be a paralegal; 3. You mistook the job for a public service job; 4. You deserve what you get for accepting the work; and 5. You enjoy accepting the risk to your bar license for next to no compensation.

    Actually, for $15/hr, I would find a new career. LOL.

  50. To the desperate OneL:

    "there are plenty of businesses that would love to pay a little more to have someone with a J.D. on their side."

    No there aren't.

  51. @Arnettlaw:

    "@7:46 pm and @3:55 am: You both paint with an overly broad brush. Although you think that a lawyer is a lawyer is a lawyer, its just not true."

    Did you read what I wrote? It isn't that I am painting with a broad brush my friend. There is absolutely no area of the law (and that INCLUDES tax and patent, two areas of law that you apparently think are just hugely in need of entry level attorneys) that is under-supplied. Not a single one my friend. There are loads of folks that try and break into tax after spending an EXTRA 50K on an LLM and STILL can't grab a job practicing tax law. Do you understand that? Please tell me which area of the law is truly in dire need of new entry level attorneys? Guess what, you can't, and once you start trying to get full-time entry level attorney positions for these "specialties" you will find that out.
    As with anything, employment depends on many factors other than the job market alone. It depends on what area you practice, the region you're in, your life experiences. Just because law school openings saturate one region doesn't mean that it saturates all regions. Grades and tier play some role in employment, but many other factors are involved too.

    "Overall unemployment for the general population is 10% right now. For lawyers in the industry, it is far less. So when you say that supply GREATLY outstrips demand, it depends on your definition of "greatly." Considering that attorney unemployment is less than 10%, I tend to call this "competition.""

    What you are not getting is that we are all focusing on ENTRY LEVEL ATTORNEY positions. The fact that folks who graduate 10+ years ago have done well does NOT matter for us. Things.are.different. And wildly different. This is what you just aren't picking up on yet my friend.

    Nando and others have shown you hard evidence that demonstrates how a huge minority of law students overall (and likely a majority at many schools) never get to practice law. And that isn't because they decided they didn't want to practice law, it's because they couldn't get a job practicing law. That wouldn't be so bad, except for the fact that law school costs so much more than it ever used to. There is no reason schools should be charging as much as they do for tuition. NO REASON!

    Except that they can profit off you and me and every other kid in the nation with starry eyes because of information assymetry problems (if you don't know what that is look it up and you will see that these blogs are a much needed solution to the problem).

    "Also, things are a little tougher now because of the recession, but is that your law school's fault? No. It just means the same thing it means for the rest of our nation - times are tough."

    See, this is where you are again not seeing the big picture. You seem to think that pre-recession law school was still a golden opportunity. Well, guess what, it wasn't. The bi-modal salary distribution for lawyers has existed for quite some time. It is just that only now, thanks to the Internet, we can actually spread the word on how law schools are distorting the actual pay-off of a law school education. And this isn't limited to law school, but encompasses the entire US higher education system.

  52. "Besides, not everyone gets an education for simply economic reasons anyway. Believe it or not, many get an education to better yourself, broaden your horizons, and learn to problem solve."

    Actually, people go to school in order to garner the credentials needed to get a job and make a living. Plain and simple. That is, and always should be unless you are independently wealthy, the driving force behind going to college in the US.

    Again, you are not getting it that, especially in today's information age (re: the Internet) you can "better yourself, broaden your horizons, and learn to problem solve" all in the comfort of your pajamas. Higher education and law school ESPECIALLY don't have the market cornered on teaching you how to think critically. Law school acts like "thinking like a lawyer" is something special. It isn't.

    "Education generally is expensive, but is that a justification not to attend? Not for me it isn't."

    The answer to your question is that an expensive education very well may be a reason not to attend an institution of "higher learning". People need to do a financial analysis and figure out whether law school is worth it economically. As others have pointed out again and again, law school is simply not a smart investment for a majority of TODAY'S prospective law school students.

  53. @ Will:

    I have serious doubts that you are even a lawyer, and at best you are a starry-eyed PRE law student. To wit:

    "This blog is full of it. Even if there were no traditional law firm jobs (which there are), then there are plenty of businesses that would love to pay a little more to have someone with a J.D. on their side."

    Actually no. Most businesses do NOT have in-house counsel or any other type of "JD preferred" position. If you think otherwise, you are mistaken. And guess what? They sure as hell are NOT going to hire a law grad that just graduated to fill such a role in their company. Many people are missing the point here, we are not talking about lawyers who graduated 5-10+ years ago. Those cats have experience and MIGHT be able to snag a job with a company as in-house counsel. This blog is about getting knowledge to PROSPECTIVE law students (and perhaps those that are currently in law school, 1Ls, maybe 2Ls). If you think companies hire newly minted JDs as in-house counsel or otherwise, again you are simply mistaken. There are undoubtedly a handful here and there that do, but they are FAR and FEW between.

    "This blog claims that businesses are turned off by the idea of a J.D. - well, some companies might view it as overqualified, but many others would love it just for your leadership and problem solving abilities."

    Again, if you had gone to law school, you would know that law school does not teach you jack shit. A JD is a glorified liberal arts degree that doesn't teach you anything about being a leader or solving real-world problems. And again, there are not "many" companies out there that are interested in hiring newly minted law grads as in-house counsel or otherwise. The reason people come on here and let you know that a JD is a death kiss when you are interested in breaking in to other fields is because it is. The line that "a law degree allows you to do anything!" is simply 100% bullshit for today's law student.

    "Moreover, a J.D. means professionalism. If you're running a professional operation, you want professional minds. To multi-million dollar corps, paying more for better people is an excellent investment."

    Again, savvy business owners know that a newly minted JD brings NO added value. A JD does not guarantee that the individual is smarter than anyone else, and a newly minted JD almost surely has less knowledge and experience than all kinds of other professionals with a few years of experience. That is why business owners don't hire JDs in droves. IF they did, this blog wouldn't exist now would it?

    "Let's say Z owns a $ million/yr consulting business, dealing with high power clients. Who would Z rather hire for a new position? 1. H.S. graduate for $25k; 2. Undergrad for $40-50k; or 3. J.D. for $70k. EASY, #3. Its a no-brainer! When you're a multi-million business, you want QUALITY people. A little extra salary for better and more accountable people is just a small transactional cost of doing business."

    How about you show me where ANY business is hiring a newly minted JD for 70K? Guess what? They don't exist. Furthermore, as I have already said, a JD does not endow you with any special skills. If I were starting a business, I would much rather have a solid accountant than a JD. At least they can bring some value to the company. Savvy business owners now this, and that is why they don't hire recent law grads.

  54. @ OneL Will/1:32:

    Where did I ever say that there are no traditional law firm jobs? There are some openings, but they are increasingly difficult for recent law grads to land. That tends to happen when an industry annually produces far too many graduates, for the number of available positions.

    “Moreover, a J.D. means professionalism.”

    Yeah, sure it does, kid. Do yourself a favor and head over to ATL, and look at the comments from the supposed “cream of the crop.” Count the number of hostile homophobic and racist comments and get back to me.

    “Hell, some companies spend $millions on advertising alone this year. What’s a few extra thousand for a J.D. instead of a h.s. grad? Nothing!”

    Citing your example of a J.D. making $70K versus a H.S. graduate making $25K, you think that $45K is a “few extra thousand”, huh? As another commenter pointed out, SHOW ME some actual businesses that are hiring freshly-minted JDs for $70K. Companies care about: (a) saving money; and (b) employees or job candidates who can bring in ACTUAL business. A law degree, by itself, will not impress most businessmen. YOU CLEARLY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE BUSINESS WORLD. Law school platitudes will only get you so far.

    As several others have pointed out, learning how to “think critically” is not exactly going to set you apart from others. You want to think critically? Go read some Camus or Nietzsche, learn how to play a musical instrument, watch some intriguing foreign films, develop an interest in biology, work on complex math puzzles, etc. By the way, regurgitating the same mindless garbage that comes out of your “law professors’” mouths/anuses DOES NOT constitute critical thinking.

    You also seem to believe that the work world sees lawyers as “leaders.” You do understand that lawyers serve clients, and generally do what those clients want, correct? How does that fit into your definition of “leadership”? Furthermore, do HR departments and business managers want “independent thinkers” or do they do want to hire someone who will diligently perform his assigned tasks – without causing any problems or headaches?

    @Anonymous who posted at 1:48, you forgot to add that those working doc review for $15 an hour are doing so because they CANNOT find anything better. Did you ever stop to consider that possibility? Or were you afraid and concerned that the facts would get in the way of your little opinion?

    To Anonymous at June 2, 10:00 am: you made the right choice. It is difficult to withstand the pressure from family. However, law school should be seen ONLY as an economic decision, i.e. “Will going to law school improve my financial situation, and allow me to pay back my student loans?” If not, there is no point in going through with this pursuit. The law school deans will buy new luxury sedans, without you going in financial ruin.

  55. I will also reiterate others' points that law school offers no practical training and often leaves students three years behind people who entered the workforce and had a chance to develop skills.

    A J.D. is very much looked down upon by non-lawyers and businesspeople because everyone knows that your average J.D. knows jack shit and has no practical business experience. They teach business law at law school, they do not teach business. If you have a prof who isn't trying to completely shill you that you will all be finance experts upon leaving class, he will gloss over the business parts and tell you "this isn't your decision to make, that's for the accountants and MBAs. You're just the lawyer."

    And that, in essence, is all we will ever be, even in the best of times. JUST A LAWYER. You are not a leader or businessperson. Why do so many law firms fail and their structural deficiencies leave them teetering in this recession? Because lawyers are shitty businessmen.

    I'm sure some shill will give us a fluff piece from Money magazine or some other rag, about how the half-dozen Fortune 500 CEOS being profiled have a J.D. Big deal...the only reason they merit an article is because they are by far the exception.

    For the average TTT grad, or the 66% of 2010 grads at my presTTTigious institution...well, you ain't goin' nowhere.

  56. I graduated from DCL at MSU in 1999. Most of my classmates found legal positions after graduation in small firms, DA's offices (one is the District Attorney in Ohio) Many are Solo practitioners as I am. Having said this becoming a lawyer is not economically viable. I owe 67k on my loans.


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