Look at the Student Loan Debt Clock, put out by Mark Kantrowitz. TOTAL OUTSTANDING STUDENT LOANS ARE FAST APPROACHING $850 BILLION. See, “higher education” does pay off – for the student lending cartel and school administrators. (This is counting all private and public student loans, and is not limited to law school debt.) Law grads are taking on massive debt, while facing a shrinking job market.
“The legal sector gained 300 jobs in May after experiencing losses in the hundreds during the previous month, according to the latest employment report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the industry has still lost 400 jobs since March, and a total of 22,200 legal jobs have disappeared since May 2009.” [Emphasis mine]
“This was not supposed to happen. The path: become a star in college, get into a top law school, make law review, then take the job at a cushy law firm (maybe after a clerkship or two). Life was supposed to be a regimented ladder to the vacation home, insulated against economic down and up cycles.
“Tommy Wells, president of the American Bar Association, said the increase in lawyer layoffs is partly the legal industry's fault.”
Wow! You think that may be the case, Tommy?!?! Could the fact that the ABA Outsourcing Opinion, i.e. ABA “Ethics” Opinion 08-451, allowed U.S. law firms to hire foreign attorneys and non-lawyers have any effect on lawyer layoffs here?! Is it possible that the 200 ABA-accredited law schools – with more in the works – could be producing too many JDs?!
To be fair, it is somewhat hard to fault lemmings when Sonia Sotomayor is parading at the University of Denver’s Sturm Commode of Law, and shilling for the industry:
Look at this! Recent lawyers who supplement their $1000 monthly income by selling exercise equipment and jewelry on Ebay, attorneys who work 10 hours a week for two different sole practitioners, and JDs who manage moving and storage companies.
You are free to ignore this advice. In three years, you can always “use” your law degree to sell cupcakes and pastries from the back of a truck – just as several others lawyers have done. Is it really worth it to take on $120K+ for a chance to earn $35K-$40K – if you are even lucky enough to even break into the field?