Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Alabama State Bar Addresses the Reality of the Shrinking Legal Job Market
State Bar Issues Warning to Prospective Law Students:
The state bar association published a document entitled “Thinking Of Going To Law School?” This report got straight to the point:
“Before you go any further, you need to make a realistic assessment by honestly answering three questions below. If you can’t give an honest answer then you really don’t need to continue on this page.
1. Why do you want to go to law school?
2. Can you afford law school?
3. Do you really want to be a lawyer?
We cannot stress enough that the answer to Q2 is critically important. Becoming a lawyer usually takes seven years of full-time study after high school—four years of undergraduate study in college, followed by three years of law school. Essentially, you will be losing at least three years of potential earnings while you are in law school and the debt you will incur is likely to exceed $100,000 according to some estimates.” [Emphasis mine]
Now scroll down to the section header “Summary Report Survey Of New Admittees Regarding Law Student Debt And Post Law School Employment.” Look at the following excerpts:
“Every year, law students embark on a three-year course of study that will prepare them for a rewarding profession. Unfortunately, this course of study will also leave many of them with a considerable amount of student loan and other indebtedness at the end of their three-year education. It is increasingly common for law graduates to owe $100,000, $150,000 or more by the time they complete their education and prepare to face the last hurdle which separates them from a legal career – the bar exam.” [Emphasis mine]
That is one hell of a price to pay, for the chance to sit for a bar exam. Imagine if a car dealer charged you $10,000 for a test drive. How would you respond?
“What are my chances of getting hired after graduation?
Job hunting is always competitive because approximately 800 new lawyers are licensed in Alabama each year. Opportunities vary from area to area, with the most attractive openings having many applicants.” [Emphasis in original]
Immense debt plus weak-ass job prospects amount to a miserable combination, for students and recent grads. Those with an IQs above 70 will immediately recognize that the odds do not justify the massive debt.
Coverage of the Report:
On March 8, 2013, attorney Keith Lee posted an Associate’s Mind entry labeled “Which State Bar is Discouraging People From Going to Law School?” Check out his conclusion:
“[I]t speaks volumes that that the ASB is willing to step up and publicly speak out on this issue and the “new reality” facing young lawyers. Especially when so many other Bars seem as though they would just as soon ignore the problem.
If the State Bar in a small market like Alabama can speak out on the issue – why can’t everyone else?” [Emphasis mine]
The Lawyer Glut in Alabama:
Catherine Rampell’s piece “The Lawyer Surplus, State by State” appeared in the New York Times Economix blog, on June 27, 2011. Look at the following numbers for the state of Alabama, furnished by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc.:
“2010-2015 Estimated Annual Openings: 295
2009 Bar Exam Passers: 455
If the Alabama $tate Bar is correct in its statement that roughly 800 new attorneys are licensed each year in the state, then the level of lawyer over-saturation is far greater. Yes, that is a great recipe for recent graduates, huh?!?! Keep in mind that there are only three ABA-accredited trash pits in Alabama.
Conclusion: It is refreshing to see a state bar association admit that the job market is glutted. Of course, at this point in time, only waterheads and ball-less shills would argue that this is not the case. Furthermore, the organization stressed - several times - the insane cost of a “legal education.” In the end, you do not need to incur an additional $100K-$150K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, for a chance to practice law. Specifically, the report mentioned that “approximately two-third of Alabama lawyers practice” in firms with one to five attorneys. Why in the hell would you choose to take on such stifling debt, for the “opportunity” to enter toilet law?!
Posted by Nando at 6:24 AM