Sunday, June 20, 2010

The 44,000

According to the NALP, the law school Class of 2009 was 44,000 “strong” – meaning that ABA-accredited law schools pumped out 44,000 new graduates for the Class of 2009. Yes, you read that right. There were FORTY FOUR THOUSAND new law graduates for 2009. At least, that is a nice round figure isn’t it? I mean, certainly there MUST have been 44,000 attorney or law-related job openings in 2009, right?!?! Actually…

Page one of this document also notes that the employment rate – for those of whom employment status was known – was 88.3% for the Class of 2009. Now, head over to the first chart on page 2 of this PDF. Of the 44,000 new law grads, 40,833 responded to the graduate surveys from their particular law school. Apparently, 3,167 people had something better to do than reply to their school’s graduate survey. They may have been too busy looking for work. Also, as we all know, those who are working in their desired field and making decent money are MUCH more likely to respond to such surveys.

Of these 40,833 souls, 70.8 percent reported being employed in jobs that required bar passage. Do you understand the implications of that, lemmings?! That means that roughly 28,910 of these jobs required bar passage, i.e. 40,833*.883. It seems that there were approximately 15,090 TOO MANY law graduates for the available number of attorney positions! Who knows? Maybe those 15,090 people simply wanted to forego three years of income, take on significant NON-DISCHARGEABLE student debt, increase their stress levels, and earn a JD so that they could land jobs that don’t require a law degree?!?!

Here is some more food for thought: How many of those bar-required positions were for document review/contract attorney work? How many of these spots went to law students who already had legal employment lined up – due to family, business or political connections? How many desperate JDs decided to hang out their own shingle, upon graduation?

For info on the last category, go onto page 3 of this PDF.

“For the Class of 2009, the number of solo practitioners reported is well over 1,000 and represents more than 5% of law firm jobs reported, compared with 3.3% for the Class of 2008. In raw numbers, there were about 375 more solo practitioners reported for the Class of 2009 than for the Class of 2008, a jump than in itself accounts for nearly a full percentage point of the employment rate. Solo practitioners represent 2.9% of all jobs reported for the Class of 2009, compared to 1.9% for the previous class.” [Emphasis mine]

This means that the overall employment rate would be closer to 85.4 percent if solo practitioner were not listed as viable employment. Surely, some of these people will eventually make a living as solos. However, they will be competing directly against TONS of established law firms and experienced attorneys for the shrinking pool of clients who are willing to pay for legal services. Many recent toiletlaw attorneys are now relegated to taking on entire cases – from beginning to final disposition – for the huge sum of $300.

“Another marker of the weakness of the job market is that a much higher percentage of this class reported that even though they were employed, they were still looking for work (almost 22% of the Class of 2009 compared to 16% of the previous class), suggesting that graduates took jobs they may not have been satisfied with simply to be able to earn money to offset living expenses and student debt.” [Emphasis mine]

This may be you in a few years, delusional lemming!

“In addition, a far higher percentage of this class reported employment that was temporary, with 41% of all of the public service jobs being reported as temporary, 30% of all business jobs being reported as temporary, and even 8% of the private practice jobs being reported as temporary. Overall, nearly 25% of all jobs were reported as temporary, a figure which includes judicial clerkships.

[M]any schools have “jobs programs” of some sort for new graduates, and many of them predate the recession. For the Class of 2009, it is estimated that these jobs provided over 800 jobs, accounting for a full 2 percentage points in the employment rate. At the high end, these jobs programs can account for up to 50 jobs on a single campus.

Members of the Class of 2009 were also working more often in part-time jobs than their predecessors, with 56% of the academic jobs reported as part-time, 20% of business jobs being reported as part-time, and more than 10% of all jobs reported as part-time – up from 6% for the previous class.” [Emphases mine]

Think of the true employment picture for the Class of 2009. You see how the law schools count solos, part-time employees – including those who are working as part-time researchers at their school, and JDs in non-legal positions to reach an overall employment rate of 88.3 percent. Furthermore, many of these positions are in doc review. MANY of these jobs are temporary. How will these grads fare when the industry pumps out another 44,000+ JDs each year, for 2010, 2011 and 2012?!

In light of the above information, do the law school industry apologist cockroaches want to tackle this subject – and explain how law schools are not producing too many JDs?


  1. Didn't you know, the country is in great need of 44K new lawyers every year? Forget engineers, farming, mining, and those working infactories. What would we ever do without all those paper-shufflers and desk monkeys?

  2. Did you get sick of Florida?

  3. Nando, you cannot assume that just because a law grad doesn't respond to a survey that it means he is unemployed. I would assert that some non-responders are legally employed too. Perhaps some non-responders just throw the survey in the trash.

    In any event, Nando (aka "Mr. Accurate Reporting of Statistics Adovcate"), cannot simply treat non-responders as legally unemployed.

  4. Also, again, your focus is on those JUST starting out. Your real focus should be upon grads after they get traction in the industry, three or four years out. Anything starting out is going to be rocky until you learn how to play the field.

  5. Obtaining a law degree these days is tantamount to purchasing a lottery ticket. The difference is a lottery ticket costs $1, not $200K. Today, kids fantasize about the romantic notion of loving the law and landing a multi-million dollar case (much like Matt Damon's character did in 'The Rainmaker') or a $160K/yr. biglaw job. If you couple the odds and risk/return factor, you are better off buying lottery tickets. I have talked to solo practitioners that have been practicing over 20 years that are still waiting for that elusive and mythical million dollar case. Today, law school sells like a cheap '90s real estate infomercial ("you too can become a real estate mogul by buying swampland in Florida cheap and flipping the property at a huge profit"). Believe me folks, this "profession" is a business and it stopped being prestigious years ago. I suppose you can continue to believe that law is easy and you will make millions taking a class action lawsuit against the big bad insurance companies that refused to cover treatment for a kid that died from leukemia. I wish I could be a law school dean. Where else can you make money, lie and sell a pipe dream without fearing criminal prosecution?

  6. Furthermore, I agree with Patent Contingency (See comments on the Nova Law post) when he says that you cannot continue, as a successful lawyer, to view yourself as an "employee." That's how a Wal-Mart worker thinks of himself. A lawyer is, in fact, a miniature business and it is up to each lawyer to build a book. That's also how doctors work too. Its time to stop blaming your school at some point.

    Even IF someone's school "screwed" them (I disagree that anyone with a law degree gets screwed), then SO WHAT? Is that going to ruin the rest of your life? CONQUER AND OVERCOME!!

  7. "this "profession" is a business and it stopped being prestigious years ago" -- I was told that in 1987 by a retiring lawyer who graduated from law school in 1928. He pegged the date to the mid 1960's when the 'profession' became a commodity business. He's dead now, but I remember when and where he told me. I couldn't believe descriptions of huge cases being fairly decided between both counsel over dinner and drinks in one evening and going before the court the following morning. Then after putting the settlement on the record, leaving with the judge for lunch and sailing the rest of the day!

  8. Nando, how come your blog always has the most apologists?

  9. I just think Nando's style in particular irks the apologists. They don't like his irreverent, colorful, gritty, unequivocal, and unapologetic demeanor. It is the diametrical opposite of their piously clean and yet duplicitous pseudo-intellectual rationalizing religiosity.

    Is Nando 'vulgar'? Maybe, but he gets the point across in a direct and authentic way.

  10. @8:22 am:
    Nice prose. But now lets substantively address the logic of the points on which you disagree.

  11. Excellent post, Nando.

    The deceptive numbers pumped out that claim "80-odd percent!" of law grads are still working in the law is a joke. So there are already 15,000 seats too many in law schools...a 0L might see that and just try and go to a "good" school. But as you pointed out, so many of the jobs being counted as "legal work" are things no one in their right mind would pay 100k to do...hourly doc review, court-appointed shitlaw, etc. This is not what students are signing up for and paying up to 50k a year for. If you sift through all the shit and lies put out there by schools and NALP, you will find a very slim portion of law grads working full-time, real, stable legal jobs. The kind everyone thought they would be getting when they signed up (salary, benefits, and clients who are not recalcitrant crackheads who won't pay up).

    To the poster who says we have to look at people four years down the line, this is wrongheaded because there will be great attrition and washout by then. Only the "successful" will still be around by then, whereas there will be tens of thousands of indebted grads who were pushed out of the law by then, but are still struggling with the debt.

  12. @ Scammed Hard: " there will be great attrition and washout by then. Only the "successful" will still be around by then."

    So when a lawyer practices for a year or two and decides that its too hard... that should be the law school's fault?

  13. To anon 10:05

    The person you quoted never said or implied the attrition was the law school's fault.

    This post and thread focuses on the NALP and industry at large.

    Read first, think second, criticize third

  14. 10:30am: Fine. Substitute my 10:05am post of "law school's fault" with "industry's fault," "NALP's fault," [insert whipping boy entity here]'s fault."

    Besides my comments weren't aimed only at 10:01am, but also the anti-law school group, generally. And FYI, here's a reading lesson for you: The theme of this entire blog is posted at the top of this very page : "My goal is to inform potential law school students and applicants of the ugly realities of attending law school."

    Read first, think second, criticize third!

  15. Do you know the job situation of the 22% who are "employed, but still looking for work?" (and even a good percentage of "employed in a job that requires a license")?

    The majority of the "employed but still looking for work" crowd are still working as law clerks for the attorneys they worked for while in law school. No joke, I've come across quite a few now licensed attorneys who are making the exact same salary they were while in law school. Not only that, the attorney is making it known that they should not expect a raise if they decide to stick around.

    And yes, many of those people who not fall in the "doing job that requires a license" are the same people I just described, but they are now free to make court appearances on behalf of their employer or the tiny handful of clients they managed to scrounge up on their own through the court appointment system.

    Naturally, I am envious of those people because I have no employment, and no, I wasn't lazy at all during law school. I held a variety of internships with courts and agencies and joined organizations while in law school that I could contribute to. All I got was a resounding yawn. I briefly got a job, but was Seinfelded out of it by a crazed paralegal on a power trip (that firm has a mysteriously high turnover rate due to their sad inability to hire anything but morons. I guess they are just terrible judges of character and that poor paralegal is the sad old lady who has been burdened with the responsibility of making the "correct" decision for them).

    So, yeah, right now, I'm waiting for the results of two non-attorney applications. If those don't come through, I seriously don't know what I'm going to do. I've seen very little on the job boards and I'm receiving even less response than I have months ago.

  16. There's no lawyer jobs! There's no teaching jobs! There's no construction jobs! There's no accountant jobs! There's no jobs to recruit people for jobs! In fact, I hear that jobs are going to disappear altogether! Everyone will stay at home... all. the. time. Until they starve from the lack of income from the lack of a job! Everyone might even start a blog to warn others, but it will be futile because there will still be no jobs.

  17. Anonymous (7:09am) said: “I have talked to solo practitioners who have been practicing over 20 years that are still waiting for that elusive and mythical million dollar case.”

    The lawyers that you talked to are not qualified to handle a million dollar case. If they’ve never handled serious litigation before, do they expect to just step up and win it? It is sheer, uncontrollable, luck who accidentally gets a big case and then refers it to a real litigator for a 1/3 referral fee.

    But becoming a real litigator is not luck. You start out with small cases and work hard to do a good job. You will then get both skill and reputation as a good litigator. You then get bigger and bigger cases and the cycle continues. You will get most of your referrals from other lawyers who know your reputation.

    Incidentally, after practicing 20 years, you should not still be solo. By then you’ll have hired associates, teamed up with partners and maybe merged into a larger firm. Practice groups from larger firms may have broken off and gone independent. Once you know what you are doing, the law business is very fluid.

    And a “million dollars” is nothing. The billables and expenses alone on a patent, products liability or class action could easily exceed a million dollars.

    The law school game is largely luck. The guy who figures out, as a 1L, what law professors want on their final exams gets law review, summer associateship and then BigLaw opportunites.
    The guy who figures it out 6 months later, as a 2L, gets nothing. (Everybody eventually figures it out; its not rocket science A vast difference in opportunity follows little more than trivial luck. This is extremely demoralizing.

    Recent grads think that the law business is like law school nonsense and get demoralized. But the real practice of law is much more meritocratic and is based on years of effort. It is not a sprint; it is a marathon.

  18. Funny how all the apologists are either 0Ls or attorneys with over ten usually twenty years experience.

    The name of this blog includes the word "reality."
    in the real world there just isn't that much demand for lawyers.
    The work that exists does not justify the cost of entering this business.

  19. Responding to Anon 10:07 / 11:03 (June 20):

    Thanks for clarifying your position and reminding me the theme of this blog. I didn't need the reminder, but thank you anyway.

    Your original comment (while not clear) seems to be aimed at creating a counter-argument that the authors of these blogs are wrong to believe that the high burnout factor of new lawyers is is the fault of a law school or the industry (NALP, ABA, lenders). Put another way, it is not anyone's responsibility to help new lawyers avoid burning out.

    Again, I still don't think anyone (Scammed Hard in particular-the one you addressed) has argued to blame of high rates of attrition or burnout on anyone other than the individual.

    In my opinion, he was basically arguing that its somewhat misleading to look at lawyers 4 years out because other factors (burnout, attrition, failure, introduction of new attorneys, etc.) will likely not be measured well by current statistics.

    I was not trying to insult you with my directions, but rather giving you a suggestion since you appeared to directly responding to another poster. Thank you for clarifying your position.

  20. @2:37pm: Believe it or not, some lawyers just don't make the cut - either because of work ethic, brains, whatever reason. And not to say that there aren't excellent third and fourth tier attorneys out there, but I'm sorry, there has to be some realization (among the law students, grads, AND the T3-T4 schools) that a 143 LSAT / 2.3 gpa caliber law grad may be outgunned in this profession!

    To this extent, Nando could be correct in that employers are reluctant to hire law grads with substandard aptitude in comparison to the rest of the profession... and with so much at stake, who can blame them?!

  21. Patentcontingency, you are out of touch with reality. No attorney with a million dollar case is going to refer it out for a measly 1/3 of 1/3 in attorneys' fees. That will never happen. In reality, that attorney will bring in more experienced co-counsel and undertake the case by himself but with the help of others. As for solos being failures for not partnering or being absorbed by bigger firms after 20 years--this is just a stupid statement. Boutique or larger firms absorb smaller practices and within 3-5 years boot out the solo after taking the clients and practice area away from him. I have seen this happen time after time. Older solos have caught on to this practice. Also, partnering up with someone else is riskier than marrying a gold digger. Anyone who has been in a legal partnership will tell you that partnership is like marriage without sex. In the end, most partnerships dissolve over money, "fit" issues, working incompatibility and the lack of syncing work effort. Go back to filling forms and pro forma paperwork at the PTO and keep it safe and simple.

  22. Apparently, the industry apologist cockroaches are offended by my gritty, realistic view of things, and my basic operating principle that people and institutions will typically do what is best for them – at the expense of others.

    For some reason, these tools are NOT offended by the following facts: (a) that there are too many ABA-accredited law schools; (b) that law schools pump out way too many graduates each passing year; (c) that such a volume of JDs has led to a glut of attorneys, in this nation; (d) that the GROSSLY OVERSATURATED lawyer job market relegates LEGIONS of recent law grads and licensed attorneys to a lifetime of debt servitude; (e) that such JDs are left to accept jobs making ~$30K a year; (f) that there are so many JDs produced in this nation, that many simply CANNOT find employment – as their advanced degree and lack of actual job experience makes them “overqualified” for many non-legal positions; (g) that law school tuition is at an all-time high – even in the face of a shrinking legal market; (h) that such crippling NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt can cause more strife in a marriage – as money is one of the most heated areas of dispute in a typical union; (i) that law schools are FULLY AWARE that advances in technological software allow the layperson better access to legal information – and that such people are not as inclined to hire attorneys; (j) that the swine on the ABA Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility allow U.S. law firms to hire foreign lawyers AND non-attorneys for American legal discovery work – See ABA “Ethics” Opinion 08-451.

    The apologists are always okay with the following facts: (k) that conversely, “law professors” make $180K annual incomes for “teaching” legal theory for a grand total of 4-6 hours a week – thanks in large part to federally-backed student loans; (l) that law students are essentially paying for “professors” to engage in worthless legal scholarship, i.e. publishing obscure law review articles, that is read by 5 other people; (m) that law schools – at all levels of reputation/rank – systematically, KNOWINGLY massage and distort their employment and starting salary figures; (n) that the schools engage in this deception for the express purpose of increasing their ranking – and to attract more paying customers.

    In sum, the law schools KNOW that lawyer job market is deplorable and pathetic. Instead of being honest about the situation, the law schools have decided to manipulate the data and hide the facts. They want more asses in seats. American law schools DO NOT GIVE A DAMN what happens to their students upon graduation. These fraudulent institutions get paid up front. You, the student, are left with the bill for the next 25-30 years.

    The people defending the industry are delusional; some are simply pathologically dishonest. Apparently, such lemmings come on this board, because they know that they must defend, to themselves and others, their decision to go to law school. They ostensibly want to come across as “rational” and “objective” – but they blow their cover with their knee-jerk reactions to the facts. They ignore the figures posted on these blogs; and often, these kids simply misinterpret/distort the information to suit their decision to attend law school.

    There are real people in this nation being sentenced to a lifetime of debt servitude – who often MUST decide between paying their bills or buying groceries – for the simple crime/sin of trying to improve their station in life and buying into the national mantra, i.e. “Education is the key to your future.” Yet, the industry cockroaches are fine with this situation. Apparently, they want to land $160K in debt.

    Listen, if you are a 0L – or even a 3L like Tyson – keep on your path. However, when you end up drowning in debt or cannot find a job, DO NOT come crying on this board. You have been thoroughly warned.

  23. (anonymous 3:45): What areas of law do you practice and how many trials have you tried to verdict? I have tried over a hundred.

    Say an average real estate, criminal, traffic, or estate lawyer has a client walk in and say that her husband died in surgery and thinks the doctor messed up. This is entirely plausible. An average person will call "their lawyer" who helped them on their real estate closing, traffic ticket or divorce. Is this non-specialist lawyer then going to teach himself med mal to litigate the case himself? How is the non-specialist lawyer going to pay the real med mal litigator for his advice? Is the real med mal litigator going to share all of his secrets for a $50,000 consulting fee? Is the real med mal litigator going to file his appearance and share in the non-specialist's inevitable legal malpractice for only a tiny share of the contingency fee?
    On the other hand, the referring attorney can sign the client and then merely call a top med mal litigator and collect 1/3 for doing nothing. Which do you think they are going to do.

    Regarding partnerships. If you handle any kind of serious litigation, you will eventually need partners to divide the work. Once you start making enough money, it also makes sense to hire an associate. If you get to $300k, why not hire a new attorney for $50-60, so you can focus on the important stuff.

    BTW, if you think patent attorneys just fill out paperwork at the PTO, think again:

  24. Also, it is suspicious that so many of these 0Ls camp here. If I were getting ready for law school and I came across a web site that told me to avoid law school, I would be far too busy studying, moving and learning how to live on a smaller budget to spend hours arguing with such a person. Such a person intent on going to law school - and comfortable with their decision - would probably ignore the blog, and move on with their life.

    Evidently, these kids are too stupid to understand that we are trying to save them a lifetime of anguish, despair, disappointment and financial ruin. There are too many attorneys out there, and if you do not have the right connections, your chances of landing a real lawyer job are VERY slim. And the cost does NOT go away.

    "Nando, you cannot assume that just because a law grad doesn't respond to a survey that it means he is unemployed. I would assert that some non-responders are legally employed too. Perhaps some non-responders just throw the survey in the trash.

    In any event, Nando (aka "Mr. Accurate Reporting of Statistics Adovcate"), cannot simply treat non-responders as legally unemployed."

    You know lawyers and law students LOVE to brag about themselves when they are successful, Tyson. If some TTT grad landed a lawyer job making $70K - or even $45K - he would be happy to report his employment status to the school. Lawyers care about prestige and status. Most are also concerned with maintaining their pride and saving face. (This is also why so many of “the losers” cannot be fundamentally honest with themselves or others, with regards to their financial situation. Instead, they put on a happy face.) Those JDs who landed legal positions are MUCH MORE LIKELY to respond to such a graduate survey than those who are living in their mother’s garage and working at Kinko’s for $10 an hour.

    Tyson, should we assume that all of those non-respondents have legal jobs?! If we did so, guess what?! That would still mean that there were 11,923 too many graduates for the available number of attorney, and law-related, positions!! Also, if you noticed, I said “roughly” 15,090 too many law graduates. This means I recognize that some, i.e. few, of the non-respondents did have legal employment but chose not to report their info.

  25. Patent contingency, I think you are being a bit disingenuous. I don't know of any lawyer that has tried "over a hundred" cases, unless we are talking about bench trials before the kangaroo traffic courts. I have been practicing law for almost 15 years and have tried a total of 14 cases. The fact is, many cases settle before trial. A miniscule percent go to trial and any seasoned lawyer will verify that statement. If you have tried over a hundred trials relating to salient legal issues such as whether the officer's radar was calibrated or whether your client had .08 BAC, then congrats but I am not impressed. As to your med mal example, it is entirely invalid. First a referring attorney does not get 1/3 of the verdict/settlement award. In NY, they get 25% of the actual attorney's 1/3 cut. So for example, if a lawsuit settled for $250K, the attorney gets 1/3 of that or $82,500. The referring attorney gets 25% of that or $20,625. Sure that is not bad money for referring a case. However, once we are dealing with million dollar cases, no attorney will want 25% of a 33% cut. The reality is that the real estate attorney will bring in a med mal practitioner and split the attorneys' fees 50/50. Also, once a solo is making $300K/year why the fuck would he want a partner? A solo will just hire associates and pay them $30-$50K a year. There is no sense in splitting the pot 50/50 with a partner. When you think about it, the only people that want to partner up are lazy folks that want to ride the coattails of someone else's steam. Patent contingency, the more I think about it, I doubt you are a practicing attorney. Perhaps you are a law professor that teaches IP. You have a rather unrealistic approach of the practice of law. Are you sure your "over a hundred trials" weren't mock?

  26. The 0L's should be thankful that we're out here telling you the truth with both hard statistics and personal stories. I understand the reasons for going to law school. We were in your shoes three years ago.

  27. 8:16:
    As I commented before, it's funny that all of these so-called "people" showed up at the exact same time to throw in their two cents about us being a bunch of whiny babies.

  28. In regards to the whole "being absorbed by a larger firm one magical day....."

    I see lots of job offers for those people: "Three plus years of experience and a portable book of business."

    I rarely see anything for brand new attorneys unless it is for personal injury or to be a minion in something like real estate title.

    What does this tell me?

    1. All of the other firms are suffering for business if they can't justify hiring a new attorney who would be doing their grunt work.

    2. These firms figure there are enough desperate attorneys out there who, after eating ramen for the past three years while building up a mini roster of every drunk driver in the zip code as their clients, still want a "job" because they didn't want to be in business for themselves to begin with. And many will jump on that ship because it looks like a step in the right direction. Since we are so competitive, nobody wants to be a schlub working out of their bedroom. We want to be wanted. You see yourself as moving up in the world. It won't be too long after that where the hiring partner starts taking all of your clients out for lunch and neglects to mention it to you.

  29. Nando,

    Are you calling yourself a loser for deciding to go to law school?

    C'mon man, seek some therapy and move on. And who not be honest and change your blog purpose to what it really is? You do this simply to vent, and we all understand that. It was healthy at first...but no longer.

    There are so many more law school applicants than seats that nothing you do will keep the schools from being full. Even if you convince a handful others are right in line behind them, so your net effect is zero.


  30. 1. Yes, there are too many new JDs being produced for the current market AND well beyond.

    2. Yes, people should not take the statistics published by the school at face value.

    3. Yes, you should not go deep into debt without vigorously delving into the pros and cons of choosing an education/profession.

    4. Yes, you made a bad decision.

    5. Yes, you are bitter about it.

    6. Yes, you will, hopefully, make a few people open their eyes to points 1-3.

    7. No, it isn't going to make a difference in the big picture.

    I advised long ago that you should take your show on the road and go to your law school's open houses every year to take part in the Q&A they hold. Same goes for the others who attended different schools. Make the administrators address these issues in front of their future students.

    I also advised you to stop with the low-ranked schools and do write-ups on the top schools, because shit rolls downhill. Finally, someone has started a Tier1 scam-blog, although they seem a bit dimwitted, to say the least.

    I can't wait to start law school, so I can add my perspective as a current student at my school. Good or bad, I'll post, and since I won't be living in someone else's basement if/when I graduate, maybe if I post a negative view it will come off as a bit less biased.


  31. @6:03, what does it say about the industry that SO MANY law grads end up moving in with relatives? When you start law school in Fall 2011, you will simply be one among legions of law students. If you continue on to graduate, you will more than likely be ONE of 45,000 JDs for that class.

    Look, this former chipper student editor of NaTTTional Juri$TTT is now living in her parents' "guest bedroom" in Sioux Falls, SD. She is no longer telling law students to "relax, consider the alternatives, work hard, and have some faith." She is now "swilling cocktails" in her robe. See how reality slowly sets in for some people? Do YOU want to be in that position in 4-5 years from now?

    "As my loyal readers know, I’ve moved into a room the size of a walk-in closet, and am the new roommate of my parents, my two sisters, ages 12 and 20 and the two family dogs."

    Yes, that sounds like one hell of a spacious guest bedroom, doesn't it?! Oh, if you need her, Jennifer will be sipping champagne in her robe for the rest of the day.

    What are the things that set YOU apart from the crowd, 6:03? Do you have some great family, business and political connections? You mentioned once that you were a former/retired cop who reported abuses of power by your fellow LEOs. So, I doubt you have many strong connections from your former line of work.

    You also mentioned that you do not want to work in a DA office - which means that you are choosing to cut yourself off from one area of potential employment where you MIGHT actually have an edge over others. How is that an intelligent decision - especially at this early stage? (I have known a few former LEOs who went onto decent careers as prosecutors.) So what if some/many prosecutors and cops "ensure" their cases? As far as employment goes, are you willing to let your family go hungry, out of some high sense of honor?

    Hell, if you are truly concerned about such instances of misconduct, and IF you were to land a job as a prosecutor, you could at least make sure that your cases are not marred by such "violations of the public trust". Also, news flash: private law firms DO NOT want to hire 35 or 40 year old associates – even those who excel academically. They want people they can mold.

    Lastly, it is not my fault that you are too dense to objectively look at the evidence above. Some people are going to do whatever the hell they feel like, regardless of the facts or the odds. You are one of those people. At least, the 22 year old recent college grads have an excuse: many of them have had precious little real world experience. You, as a former professional - armed with years of life experience - ought to know or better understand the slim odds facing new law students and recent JDs.

    At your age, and with your stance, it seems that you will MORE THAN LIKELY end up with a law degree and no one willing to hire you as a lawyer. Don’t dip into your pension for this foolish endeavor.

  32. Nando, don't be so hard on Doug, who sounds like a Serpico type of ex-cop. I really appreciated having a former cop or law enforcement person in my law school class. It is almost a given that these people will wind up on the bottom end of the curve. If Doug can't find anything more interesting to do than waste 3 years of his life, let him. Personally, 3 years is too much time to let your soul and zest for life atrophy in such a dull and uncreative environment. It's really ashame how there are so many people who think putting "Esq." after their name is a great badge of prestige (lulz on them). Here is a sad fact: the guy that is the assistant manager at my local car wash facility is a law school graduate. I feel his knowledge of Shelley's rule somehow enhances his skills in simonizing my vehicle.

  33. anon@ 6:48

    Care to elaborate on the "dull and uncreative environment" you mentioned above, or are you just bitter like "I finished last in my class" Nando here?

  34. Doug, I'm happy you like my blog.

  35. @7:53AM

    FYI, I finished in the top third of my class, which I admit is unimpressive. I attended law school at a time when attendance was not mandatory. Had attendance been mandatory, I would have flunked out of school. Personally, I found most law professors to be uninspiring academics that regurgitated the same tired syllabus material year after year. Do you really think the socratic method is some exciting and innovative way to teach? Socratic method was a profit gimmick that was first instituted at Harvard Law. The purpose was to take the spotlight off the professor and put it on an unsuspecting student that would be asked highly improbable brain busting hypotheticals. Does that sound creative? Law school costs almost nothing, save for professor salaries, to run. Yet the costs are exorbitant. I had a full ride to law school so looking back I have no regrets. However, in this day, I would not attend law school unless I fall into one of Nando's exceptions. I think even a half scholarship is not enough as in most cases, you will still graduate with 6 figure debt. If you want to go to law school to become a victim and be bullied by a professor that doesn't know how to practice law, be my guest.

  36. I did not graduate last in the class, idiot. In fact, I don't know who that person would be. (One of my friends was close to last, and he was about 10 spots from the bottom.) This is why people like you have ZERO credibility - you make false allegations. Didn't law school at least teach you that all you, as a lawyer, have in this world is your credibility? I guess you missed that lecture - probably because you have NEVER stepped foot in a law school class.

    I forgot to mention where the former cop's cognitive dissonance kicked in:

    "1. Yes, there are too many new JDs being produced for the current market AND well beyond."

    [Read: But I am going to law school anyway!]

    “4. Yes, you made a bad decision.

    5. Yes, you are bitter about it.”

    Thank you for admitting that even those who received full-tuition scholarships to attend law school made a bad decision. My debt from law school was $37K for living expenses; yes, this can happen when one’s spouse – with a Master’s degree - only makes $31K per year. I knew others in similar positions, who figured their educated spouses would make more than a warehouse worker. This blog is concerned with the legions of unemployed and unemployable JDs in this country. If you are among this category, the pre-law lemming at 6:03 thinks you are all losers. But, HE will UNDOUBTEDLY be a success in this field.

    Also, you state that PiTTsburgh extended such an offer to you, correct? Is there some reason why your decision is wise? PiTT is ranked 67th best law school in the U.S. by USN&WR. Is this school so much better than Third Tier Drake that it can make up for being in the oversaturated PA market?

    Check out “Is Law School Still Worth It" in Pennsylvania Lawyer Magazine:

    "I can't wait to start law school, so I can add my perspective as a current student at my school."

    [Read: I am wholly uninformed on the law school experience, but damn it, I will make something of myself. I cannot wait to learn Palsgraf and about idiopathic falls in the workplace. I am bursting at the seams to read about “minimum contacts” and the Model Penal Code. I also look forward to regurgitating the facts of Carbolic Smoke Ball Company. In the meantime, I will ENCOURAGE others to take the LSAT and apply to law school.]

    This is BLATANTLY IRRESPONSIBLE on so many levels. You have a man who has not stepped foot in his first law school lecture telling other lemmings to apply to law school - WHEN HE ADMITTED ABOVE THAT THERE ARE TOO MANY JDs BEING PRODUCED FOR THE CURRENT MARKET AND WELL BEYOND!!

  37. Who did I tell to apply to law school again? Refresh my senior memory, please!

    I guess it is impossible for me to get through to you, Nando. I don't expect to find a good paying legal job upon graduation. In fact, I don't expect to find any job, upon graduation, and yet I'm still going to law school.

    What you can't seem to grasp is that I, unlike most, am going to law school because I have nothing better to do with my money than buy law books and coffee.

    I'm sorry your life is miserable, bud. Your complaint is money, money, money, debt, debt, debt. And I understand that. But open your eyes! I have no issues with money or debt, and I'm not encouraging ANYONE else to go to law school now!

    I've also said, time and time and time again, that I will post my honest, actual experiences of all of the fraud, lying, cheating, etc. if I find any going on at Pitt. Hopefully, I won't find any. I will also, unlike everyone else on these blogs, go, in person, to my former law school, and speak out about things if they're still bad.

    See...I can do that because I'm not afraid of getting black-balled by the school, by the legal profession, by other alumni, etc.

    If I wasn't afraid to blow the whistle as a cop, I can assure you I won't be afraid to do it as a simple law school grad.


  38. So what exactly is your point posting on this blog Doug?

  39. @patentcontingency:
    My firm has a lot of clients who would love it if we could handle their cases for less than a million dollars. I'm pretty sure I could get my boss to quote a flat fee of 1.5M to the client if you want to do all the heavy lifting.

    Honestly, a class action patent case? For a million? 100 trials? Please.

  40. Doug, if you want to go to law school that bad - and for whatever reason, then go. Seriously.

    Also, stop posting comments here and move on with your life. You made your decision despite Nando's arguments. As you can see from the top of the blog, Nando advises potential law students to go to law school in certain narrow circumstances. Since you seem to fit under those, go. With that being said, I don't see why you need to post here unless you are trolling for your own advertising purposes (you know what I mean...)

    Nando (and others), ignore Doug. No point in making elaborate arguments (with citations) to someone if he is not going to listen. Let him go and let's see what happens in three years (or less).

    BTW, Doug, I really hope you will be honest in telling us what will happen to you or whether your thoughts on law school has changed after attending. Because if you are not (or take the overly positive spin on things or rationalize), then I (and others) are already laughing at you right now for being a douche first and then covering your butt later.

  41. I didn't think it was possible to find someone I hate more than a lawyer or a cop, and now I read something from a guy that is both.

    Doug will be a great lawyer imo. He's got the bullying false allegation style down pay from his days as a dirty cop, and now he'll add...well, law school won't actually add anything for him, but he will now have the credentials to bully even more people in court rooms!

  42. Funny, I don't recall even receiving a NALP survey.

  43. A little off topic for this site, but relevant to the rising costs of higher education in general: Tufts Medical $chool now charges approximately $55,000 a year in tuition and fees alone for its MD candidates. This despite the fact that it's not even one of the top two progams in Boston. Disgusting.

    Law $chools aren't too far behind. Isn't there a school in CA that costs over $50k now? What a joke.

  44. These types of posts are far superior to the ones that focus in on individual schools. Good job.

  45. I must ask, in all seriousness of the apologists/shills: if it is indeed inevitable that we MUST have failures in the race to gain legal employment after law school, because, ostensibly, law is such an intellectually highbrow pursuit that someone just HAS to lose--why is it that when my nephew graduated medical school, EACH AND EVERY KID was matched (what a concept--on "MATCHING DAY!") with a residency, somewhere, some place. Is it argued, that medicine is sub-par, somehow, intellectually to law study, in that it does not inevitably produce career cannon-fodder as law schools do?!?!?!

  46. ^The apologists won't have an answer for your query, sir. They'll just harp on you and tell you how they, as know-nothing 0Ls, will make it in this profession. Never mind the successful experienced attorneys who come on here and tell it how it is. These ignorant 0L shitbags know better.

  47. You obviously hate this nation so much...Go move to France. We don't need you here. We believe in hard work, innovation, and the power of the free market. Not complaining and whining.

  48. Unfair to be critical of Doug - he is not arguing Nando's points, he is simply saying his situation is different than 99% of folks who go to law school. You 2 need to lower your hackles and could probably collaborate. Doug sounds like he is going in with eyes wide open, so what's the beef?

    FYI - I am a top 15% Cooley grad, no LS debt thank God, and pretty much agree with Nando.

  49. Might the fact that Doug is a condescending asshole have anything to do with why people respond in such a way?

  50. Nando always puts forth reasoned, well considered arguments written in a compelling and engaging style. Those arguments are of course open to debate, but the best part of Nando's work is the dialogue he is creating about a serious issue. The thing that is irksome is that the law school shills who post here never respond to Nando's analysis with reasonable counterarguments that address the substance of what he is saying. Instead they respond with two basic contentions that either: a) attack Nando personally and accuse him of being an embittered loser; or b) turn this into a societal issue along the lines of "this is America, work hard and anything can happen." Adherents to this bit of nonsense thus see Nando as some kind of Communist undermining the free will and enterprise of aspiring lawyers. While we all work hard and like to think that endless opportunities are open to us all, reality is a bit different, and this is what Nando is saying. It's true, you could be a 2.4 GPA with a scintillating 146 LSAT, go to a TTT and become successful. The fact is, however, that if you fit this profile, the odds are against you, no matter how hard you work and how hard you try. Sooner or later this vision of the American Dream must come into conflict with the fact that there are legions of people out who are better than you are. You might get lucky and things will break right, but you are taking a huge gamble, as Nando says. In fact, you are probably better off taking your $150K law school loan, going to Vegas and putting the whole thing on the pass line in craps. It's the same gamble as going to law school. Now, if you have a 3.8 and a 175 LSAT, you should go to law school. I think Nando is just trying to present the state of the field and the profession today and his opponents render themselves petty and small with their vitriolic attacks against Nando himself instead of the the substance of his arguments.

  51. "It's the same gamble as going to law school. Now, if you have a 3.8 and a 175 LSAT."

    Not necessarily, no.

  52. This may be the best comment I have come across on any of the law school blogs in the last 6 months. Those who want to paint a rosy picture of the industry rely on personal attacks to make their point. (actually, they have no point.) Yes, that tactic lends great credence to their argument doesn't it?

    Notice how not one single apologist has responded to Nando's analysis at 4:55 PM. In fact, Doug admitted that nando is right in that there are too many JDs being produced. The apologists cannot attack the substance of his arguments. That is why they never even address his claims with hard facts of their own. It is downright pathetic.

  53. I LOVE cock!!!

  54. <------no really, I DO!!! Especially Proud GOP Patriot Cock...(no socialist cock please)

  55. Nando, I am curious of your crocodile picture selection. Were you trying to convey:
    A) The legal field is so saturated that lawyers are fighting over each other for scraps; or,
    B) Going to law school is a croc of shit.

    Or is there another reason I did not think of?


    As I have commented before on this site, I am a 0L who despite being accepted into three tier 1 schools, has made the decision to avoid law school because it doesn't make financial sense. I appreciate Nando's writing and encourage all to take seriously what he writes. The above posted article is perfect evidence for the crap that law schools will do to ensure their own financial futures. It is not an issue of education for them, it is an issue of money. It's a business, even if some are public institutions. Law school administrators are in the business of making money, and if that means glossing over the truth in employment statistics causing some unsuspecting 0L to go $180,000 into debt, they will. According to the above article, they don't mind fudging your grades, so why would they mind fudging their numbers?

    I don't pretend to be an expert on law school, I've admittedly never spent a day in law school, and I'm grateful to say that. By my first day I would have been in a ridiculous amount of debt. I have a few friends who graduated this year from a 3rd tier school and they offer the same advice as Nando. Make the decision to go to any type of school as a financial decision. Unfortunately in the current climate, majority of those who attend law school, it seems it will be a poor financial decision.


    The law school Class of 2009 had 44,000 graduates!!

    Now, we will look at the number of law grads from 1980-1981 to 2008-2009 – by adding the 44,000 to the count. In these 29 years, a cumulative total of 1,127,231 law degrees were awarded by ABA-accredited law schools. Yes, ONE MILLION, ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SEVEN THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY ONE law degrees have been issued in the last 29 years, in the United States.

    IN THE LAST FIVE academic years combined, ABA-accredited law schools have handed out a total of 217,661 law degrees. In the last ten years, a total of 411,234 men and women have graduated from ABA-accredited law schools.

    And you wonder why so many recent JDs and lawyers are relegated to living in their mother’s basement, while looking frantically for legal and non-legal employment. But, yet the lemmings WILL undoubtedly have wild success in law school AND beyond, right?!?!

  58. Nando, man up and go get a janitor's job at Walmart or McDonald's. Blogging doesn't count as a "job."

  59. 1:46 = angry loser mad that people are trying to save him $150K in debt. Go to law school already, bitch.

  60. 1:52 = angry loser mad that they're 150K in debt and can't GET a job anywhere. Enjoy your cardboard box, bitch.




    Quotes of the Day

    Tuesday, Jun. 22, 2010

    "If somebody's paying $150,000 for a law-school degree, you don't want to call them a loser at the end. So you artificially call every student a success."

    -Stuart Rojstaczer,
    a former geophysics professor at Duke University, on the decision by some top law schools to inflate student grades

  63. You've fought the good fight here. Now fight the good fight with me.

  64. The economic downturn some have dubbed The Great Recession is forcing many law firms to adapt on the fly—by tinkering with internal structures, for instance, and revising billing practices—in a bid to maintain profit margins.And, according to a report released Tuesday by Pennsylvania-based legal consulting firm Altman Weil, these changes are likely to stick long after the economy recovers.
    Altman found, for example, that nearly all of the 218 firms it surveyed for the report--including 95 of the country’s 250 largest firms--now offer their clients alternative-fee arrangements. Many firms, the survey found, also plan to continue to streamline their ranks by offering fewer partnerships, keeping summer and first-year associate classes low, and outsourcing or contracting legal work in the near future.

    Read full story:

    That is an industry website. The firms themselves confirm Nando's fine work on this blog. For anyone who believes differently, it's just plain time to get over it already. Props to Nando, once again.

  65. Nando is nothing but a bitter loser sitting in mommy's basement. When he can make his points without bitterness or sarcasm, then people will give him credit - and only then.

  66. 10:46, let me ask you this: has your blog been featured in WSJ Law Blog, or National Law Journal? Do people around the country look forward to reading your website? Does anyone bother to listen to anything you have to say? That’s what I thought! Now, go thank your mom for washing your clothes and making waffles this morning, loser. Oh, and take care of your kids. You should be more concerned with feeding them than with pursuing a legal education.

  67. 11:23, I am a 3L at Yale who happens to be single. I don't know who you're referring to, but it's certainly not me. It still doesn't change the fact that Nando's nothing but a bitter loser sitting in mommy's basement.

  68. @12:19 - are you taking online courses at Yale, all the way from Baldwin City, KS? Does Yale Law School have an extension building in that city of 3,400 residents – as of the 2000 Census? Do you attend the prestigious liberal arts university known as Baker University? What TTT do you plan on attending? Which law schools have you applied to? Maybe, you have a chance to get into law school at the nearby University of Kansas. Also, do your parents know that you are making BASELESS claims on the Internet?

    Doug, can you not read? I allow plenty of ill-informed comments on this blog. Just look at the number of stupid comments you have left on these blogs. Also, I bought a house recently. Oh wait – does that mean that law school was a terrific investment?!?!

    Doug’s Blogger profile

    • Gender: Male
    • Occupation: Retired
    • Location: WV : United States

    About Me

    Zero Debt, Home is Owned, Steady Income, Going to Law School (scholarship) for Intellectual Enjoyment--Nothing Else
    Your hand has been replaced by a rubber stamp. What does it say?
    Middle Finger
    • My God
    • My wife
    • My friends
    • My pets"

    Keep stroking your ego. I feel sorry for you, because you are so insecure that you feel the need to list “Zero Debt, Home is Owned, Steady Income, Going to Law School (scholarship) for Intellectual Enjoyment--Nothing Else” under your profile.

    Also, what happened to your blog on investing, son? Did you cancel it because everyone knew that your advice was nonsense?

    Maybe you should place more emphasis on “your God” and you will become a better person. This is probably the main reason why your wife has not borne you any children – or it may just be your low sperm count.

    Doug, if you cannot make a cogent argument as to why law school is a good investment – or post ANYTHING that is on point – I will not provide you with free advertising. And even an idiot like you knows what I mean.

    On the positive side, these lemmings and apologists are so afraid of the momentum that these scam-blogs are picking up, they need to come on this board and try to stem the tide.

  69. nando, don't let him get to you. These blogs are getting more attentin, and even the industry agrees with much of what you guys are saying.,

    Plus, Doug can't help it if he likes taking it up the ass every day. Let's just say he ought to be grateful for Lawrence v. Texas.

  70. Nando, I see what you did there and I'm laughing my ass off - assuming you connected the dots properly.

    Hey Doug, if you're reading this, I'm today's and yesterday's commenter. In light of what I just saw, I think I may need to retract my congrats as your UM letter looks a little odd...

    I can no longer take Doug or his writings seriously as he has now lost all of his credibility. He is nothing more than a troll. As I told him, he is just some arrogant and mean. He admitted that he's doing this because he likes to mess with people.

    Ignore him - he's just messing with you. Let him take his free ride for pursuits. I wonder though whether this reason for going to law school is as silly as going for the money.

  71. For anyone who hasn't read it yet, check out the article 'If Medical Schools Didn't Have to Find Residencies for Their Students, it Would Resemble the Legal Profession' on the right side of this page. It is eye-opening (and pretty funny). Send this to your family and friends that are in the medical field that give you that weird look (like you're a failure) when you talk about the law school scam.


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