Monday, September 16, 2013

First Tier Vile Rot: University of Virginia School of Law

Tuition: Virginia residents attending this school on a full-time basis will pay $47,900 in tuition - for the 2013-2014 school year.  Out-of-state, full-time law students will be hammered with a tuition bill of $52,900 - for 2013-2014.  Hell, these filthy pigs are charging medical school rates.  Who has that type of money to spend for a single year of “legal education”?!?!

Estimated Total Cost of Attendance: This same page lists living expenses as $16,300.  Health insurance is listed as $2,574; books and supplies will run $1,800; and loan fees will amount to $206.  As such, the “non-profit” corporation/in$titution of “higher education” published total 2013-2014 COA figures of $68,780 for full-time, in-state students - and $73,780 for full-time, nonresident students.  

Keep in mind that ABA-accredited diploma mills only take nine-month living costs into account, when publishing these figures.  Seeing that actual students will require 12 months of food and lodging, we need to adjust this number.  After pro-rating these expenses, that amount is $21,733.  Look at these more accurate, total COA estimates: for in-state, full time students is $74,213, whereas out-of-state, full-timers will face total costs of $79,213.

Ranking: According to US “News” & World Report, the Univer$ity of Virginia $chool of Law is rated as the 7th best law school in the country.  It shares this distinction with the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.

Published Employment Placement Statistics:  Based on the school’s ABA Employment Summary Report, there were 364 members of the UVA Law Class of 2012.  Only two graduates did not supply their job status to the school.  The published “placement” rate is 98.6 percent, i.e. 357/362.  However, on page one of this PDF, you will notice that the school hired 55 of this cohort’s grads in law school or university-funded positions!

Average Law Student Indebtedness: USN&WR lists the average law student indebtedness - for those members of the University of Virginia JD Class of 2012 who incurred debt for law school - as $122,721. Fully 85 percent of this school’s 2012 class took on such toxic debt. Remember that this figure does not include undergraduate debt – and it also does not take accrued interest into account.

Faculty and Administrator Pay: Let’s see how well the pigs are doing, in comparison to their debt-strapped students.  For this information, we rely on the Salary Database from Collegiate Times.  The figures below are from 2010, the latest available date.  Remember that these numbers do not include bonuses or other compensation:

Paul G. Mahoney “earned” $450,000 as dean of the law $chool.  George Rutherglen, supposedly a “distinguished law professor,” made $334,300.   War criminal extraordinaire Henry Kissinger doppelganger John Jeffries, Jr. raked in $316,000 - as something called “David and Mary Harrison Distinguished Professor of Law.”  Lastly, Richard Bonnie received $312,000 in annual salary - for teaching courses pertaining to “mental health and drug law,” the death penalty and “aging and the law.”

Unemployed UVA Law Students' Epic Protest:

On March 29, 2011, Elie Mystal posted a great entry “labeled Law Students at a Top School Protest Continued Unemployment.”  Take a look at this excerpt:

“We know that the threat of unemployment is very real to all law school students. Sure, the higher-ranked schools might do a better job of getting their students jobs, at least in percentage terms; but even top schools have students who want to work but cannot find jobs.

Students at one top-ten law school are sick of suffering in silence. They want everybody, especially admitted students, to know that going to an elite law school doesn’t guarantee you a good job.

Given the state of the legal economy and the cost of law school tuition, it’s a wonder that this kind of thing doesn’t happen more often….

Unemployed students at UVA Law School are protesting, blaming the law school administration for their wretched fate. Tipsters report that a number of UVA 3Ls have been menacing the 0Ls at UVA admitted students’ weekend. The disgruntled current students were wearing these t-shirts when they met the prospective students:

$40,000  a year
And NO JOB.” [Emphasis mine]

Yes, lemming, attending this overpriced public toilet does not mean that you are going to land decent employment.  Don't forget the incredible amounts of additional student debt incurred by recent graduates of this dumpster.

Conclusion: This school is gouging its students.  These cockroaches do not have the immense costs of medical equipment and technological advances associated with medical and dental schools.  Law school pigs merely have Internet connection  of course, the biggest expense is faculty pay and compensation.  However, why should any academic ass-hat rake in $200K for dusting off old notes and reviewing archaic, parsed cases?

This is a school for rich kids.  If you are not wealthy, then you will need to excel academically here and land Biglaw.  Since there is basically no job security in that area, you better make sure to pay off your student loans as fast as possible.  Otherwise, you will struggle mightily to pay off your additional $130K-$175K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt - taken on for a law degree with a fancy name.


  1. Gauging or Gouging?

  2. Yes Nando, but think how much more money these highly esteemed professors and administrators could make as Biglaw partners. It seems a bargain to be taught by the sharpest legal minds in academia - minds that could easily be pulling down 7 figures in private practice!

    These Titans would have to exercise a mere 1/10th of their mighty brains to summon up deep-pocketed Fortune 500 clients.

    Instead of sending their kids to private schools, buying 40 foot sailboats and retiring with hefty pensions, these Principled Stalwarts could be buying 50 foot yachts, sending their kids to private school and join a golf club.

    I think what we need more of around here is respect for the Academics that contribute so mightily to our national discourse. For example, I never thought through the deep policy implications of "The Categorical Imperative interpreted through a post-feminist FCC filter set." And what would we do without "Space law and the role of post-imperialist Kenyian beaurocracies at the UN?" These noble warriors drive our national discourse and we are all intellectually richer as a result.

    For Shame Nando!

  3. They hired 55 of their own graduates. From a single class. Overrated toilet.

    1. RE: UVA and other T1 schools hiring their own grads in short-term jobs.

      Graduating students are being paid short-term salaries with money from new students so the school can pretend to be a good investment and attract more students to keep the gravy train rolling.

      Sounds like a scam to me.

    2. "Flipping Law Degrees for Financial Independence!"

  4. When top 10 schools are resorting to this shit, you know law school is a terrible bet.

  5. I graduated from Willamette University College of Law in 1973. Like over 90% of my graduating class, I passed the Oregon bar on the first try. I got a law related job in state government, and am now retired on an ample pension. I
    was thoroughly satisfied with my law school experience.

    James Averill

    Fuck you guys for expecting to find high paying jobs just because you got a law degree. Entitled brats. If any of you have the nuts you can email me at the email above.

    1. You mean plaque and not Pat as in plaque buildup in the arteries leading to your old brain.

      FYI the word "FUCK" was invented by younger kids and long after the days of horse and buggy when you were in law school with Abe Lincoln.

    2. Yet another baby boomer going to law school to get out of going to Vietnam. Cheney would be proud.

    3. Do you know how hard it is to get a state job now? You clueless, decrepit, check-cashing ass hat.

    4. Fuck you Boomer, and the Pony Express horse you rode in on, you sanctimonious old fossil. I hope you contract terminal cancer.

    5. There is a James D. Averill who retired from Oregon state government in 2003 with a final salary of $56,325.36 --- and has a pension of $82,079 - 145.7% of his final salary. So, he has already collected more than $800,000 in pension benefits, with a couple of million more probably left to come.

      If you want to know why no one can get a State job, it's because the State is paying out pensions of 145% of final salary to Boomers.

    6. For anyone who wants to check Averill's pension, it is at:

    7. Typical boomer pig. He'll suck $82k out of the state, another $30k from social security, and he'll run medicare into the ground. But the boomer pigs rationalize their selfishness by saying they "earned" it, even though they'll take far more out than they put in given life expectancy today. Fucking worthless aging hippies, just sucking us dry.

      Things were different back then James, you pig. You could easily walk into a job. I remember my mother saying how when she applied to NYU grad school she just went in and filled out an application. No GRE, no letters of rec, no competitive aspect at all, nothing. She just had to prove she graduated from college. And she applied to a job at a hospital and got it on the spot. And, most importantly, tuition was a few hundred dollars a year. So James, don't come on here bragging about getting a state job back in the 70s like you are a recent law grad who is working in the west wing of the white house. You were mediocre at best. If you were part of this generation, you would have gone to Cooley, $200k in debt, and you'd be working at five guys right now.

      Burn in hell.

    8. I was in that hospital. Wasn't she the one giving handjobs to the paralyzed guys?

  6. ^^^^ An old guy whose career was spent sitting on his rear working for the State . . which almost everybody knew back then were jobs for loafers, and then he acts like he is something special. Hey Butkas, I passed several state bars "the first time", actually worked for a living in private practice rather than taking the lazy man route and made, I am sure, far more money than you, and even I understand how it is a totally different ball game today.

  7. James,

    Get over yourself.

    Lots of Boomer assholes like yourself got in with the state, with only a college degree. (Some even got in with just a high school diploma.) You are the entitled brat.

    I almost forgot to say this...

    Go eat a dick, James Averill.

    1. He probably did it to get out of going to Vietnam.

  8. James, you idiot, even when I graduated in 1987, State jobs were for those who were at the bottom. (Certainly, not the case now). Besides, what did you pay for law school? $350 a semester? The fact that you don' t grasp the difference in legal education and the job market between now and 1973 explains to me why a state job was the best you could do (which wasn't much in 1973).

    1. He probably did it to get out of serving his country in the Vietnam war.

    2. In my state 99% of the state jobs for lawyers now require at least two years of experience in the practice of law. It is thus nearly impossible for a new graduate to get a state legal job.

      James is probably out of touch because he was sound asleep at work most days.

    3. Hey dum dum. The Vietnam War was about oil. Serving your cun-try? Suck my prick asshole. Did you go to the Bush/Obama war? Didn't think so.

  9. James, my aunt worked for the state beginning in 1985. With nothing more than a HS diploma. She's got a good pension and great bennies too.

    You couldn't do better than that with a law degree in 1973. You never stopped riding the short bus.

    1. His only goal was not to go to Vietnam.

  10. This one seems a bit over the top. Here's some additional statistics:

    Private sector salary is really the relevant inquiry here (have to factor out the 67 clerks who are choosing to have a low salary but can reasonably expect to later obtain high-paying jobs if that's what they wish). 25th percentile at in this category of 216 is earning #135,000 while the median is $160,000. Together, the private sector segment and judicial clerk segment means that 283 out of a class of 344 graduated with superior job opportunities. Still that's 61 who graduated with poor job prospects or quite likely NO job (as many of the 55 school-funded positions probably can't fairly be counted as employed). It's certainly worth pointing out that approximately 17% of graduates from the 7th best law school in the country likely graduated with poor or no job prospects. Of course, that does leave 83% who came out with excellent jobs or job prospects. Put it out there honestly. Everyone has their own appetite for risk (and different belief strengths as to whether they are special snowflakes who will come out at the top of the class as opposed to the 17% who were probably in the bottom).

  11. It is not clear that job prospects are excellent for those starting in big law. In fact, lack of job security is a big issue. By the time most of the big law people hit their mid-50s and, in many cases a lot sooner, they will be unemployed or underemployed.

    The long term employment results are not good. I ought to know. I went to a much higher ranked school and the longer term employment outcomes there are awful

    1. @ 4:02: perhaps. I've seen that said online (seems to be primarily from one poster who posts that on ATL in response to any semi-relevant post). I haven't seen much real evidence, even anecdotal. It is something that is worth looking into and putting out there, though I imagine it's hard to track down graduates from 30 years ago to get any kind of reasonable sampling.

      Also, with the possible exception of medicine, I'm not sure that there is any advanced degree or profession that can offer a quasi-guarantee of continued prosperity 30 years down the line upon entry.

  12. Oh Nando! I hope you start focusing exclusively on the tier one trap schools! Only lemmings will attend TT/TTT schools now. But intelligent, well meaning kids might still get sucked into a trap school.

    @James- go fuck yourself. You boomer assholes are the entitled ones. Hell, you're the piece of shit sucking the system dry with pensions, social security, and medicare. Our government can't make any changes to social security or Medicare for the betterment of our country because you old twats start crying about it. We only want expected to get what you all got. So drop dead and do the taxpayers a favor. I'm sure you "earned" your pension, you dirty old fuck,

  13. @ James Averill,

    You graduated from law school 40 years ago, Bitch. Do not act as if the job situation today is the same as the one you faced back then. The U.S. lawyer job market is GLUTTED. I have documented that fact hundreds of times on this blog and other forums, each time relying on legitimate sources. Make sure to shove your pension up your rotten Boomer ass, cockroach. And don’t give subsequent generations a second thought, pig.

    Scroll down the subheading labeled Employment Type, 3:54 pm. A total of 203 members of the UVA Law Class of 2012 - out of a cohort of 364 grads - ended up working in private law firms. That figure represents 55.8% of the class. Of this figure, 127 landed in firms with more than 500 attorneys. In sum, a JD from this overall group had a 34.9 percent chance of acquiring such employment.

    Again, the Univer$ity of Virginia $chool of Law hired 55 JDs from its Class of 2012. This is 15.1 percent of the cohort. Do you think that the pigs did so because they care about their students - or do they want to ensure a high ranking?!?! To be fair, 45 members of this class landed federal clerkship positions. These people are on the “professor” track.

    Take another look at the average law student indebtedness figure, for graduates of this school. That figure does not include undergraduate loans. Seeing that these students typically attended comparable in$titution$ during college, MANY of them will owe $180K-$220K in total NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt - upon receiving their law degree.

    When you have a moment, check out William Henderson’s article entitled “From Biglaw to Leanlaw.” At this point in time, even non-lawyers are aware that this model is starting to crumble.

    “In a provocative 2009 essay entitled The Death of Big Law, the late Larry Ribstein predicted the shrinkage, devolution and ultimate demise of the traditional large law firm. At the time virtually no practicing lawyer took Larry seriously. The nation’s large firms were only one year removed from record revenues and profits. Several decades of relentless growth had conditioned all of us to expect the inevitable rebound. Similarly, few law professors (including me) grasped the full reach of Larry’s analysis. His essay was not just another academic analysis. Rather, he was describing a seismic paradigm shift that would profoundly disrupt the economics of legal education and cast into doubt nearly a century of academic conventions. Suffice to say, the events of the last three years have made us humbler and wiser.”

    Biglaw clients, i.e. big-ass corporations, have caught onto the billable hour scam. They are no longer willing to pay huge sums so that the firms can train new associates. Perhaps, you didn't get the memo.

    1. I agree that it's significant that 55 students at the 7th best law school in the country couldn't get jobs without their school supplying them. But I don't see the significance of the statistics you've chosen to quote. Reducing the 203 members of the class working at private firms to a percentage is somewhat irrelevant when there are another 67 clerking who can be expected to get jobs at private firms when they finish if that's what they want to do. A clerkship (certainly federal clerkship of which 45 of the 67 were) is harder to obtain than a job at most Biglaw firms. 270 out of 364 is about 75% of the class and not 55%. I would not agree that all of these people are necessarily on the law professor track. Most who have clerked still go into private practice or government. UVA is not a typical feeder school into academia like Harvard or especially Yale.

      Also, who really cares if only 127 landed at firms of 500+ if the 25th percentile salary in the private sector market (which comprises 203 law firm positions and another 13 miscellaneous "Business" positions) is still $135,000. The likely reasons are both landing in secondary and tertiary markets (maybe where the graduates are from)and also getting jobs at elite boutiques that have a lot less than 500 lawyers. These are the type of places a lot of us try hard to break into after a few years at more prototypical, large Biglaw sweatshops. There are few entry level positions at such places, but they generally go to students from schools like UVA. Salary is lower but not that much lower than $160,000, and quality of life tends to be much better.

      It is true that many clients don't want to pay for junior associates. This is a big part of the impetus behind small summer classes. It's not possible to keep armies of juniors busy anymore. And that obviously has far-reaching effects even at schools like UVA (the 55 without a real job, which probably would have been just a handful in 2006) but most coming out a school like that are capable of landing a high-paying job even now.

  14. @412,

    The funny part is that by the time YOU turn 60 or so, you'll probably be the fiercest champion of Social Security and Medicare who ever lived.

  15. I graduated from a top law school in the mid-1970s. The market was very different then from what it is now. I do not know of any classmate who did not get a summer job in a large or mid-sized law firm after second year, nor did I know of any classmate who did not have a permanent job long before law school graduation.

    Many of the lawyers in my age group and those who are much younger were able to work in big law for years at high salaries.

    Fast forward to today, and the market is very different. Many of my classmates lost their jobs and no longer have a legal career. People went from big law to solo or a tiny firm where they could not possibly be earning much. Some people are unemployed - actually an increasing number are unemployed.

    This is not only my law school, but all the top law schools and top students from lesser tier law schools.

    The legal job market has been devastated, Mr. Averill, and there is a very high level of unemployment.

    You are very fortunate to be retired on a state pension. Many of my classmates and top law graduate peers got much less than a full legal career and surely did not get an employer paid pension benefit. The private sector was not nearly as kind to them as the State of Oregon was to you.

    There is a massive oversupply of lawyers, and no real room in the legal profession for new lawyers.

  16. Response to 7:54: Actually, it is very easy to track down law graduates.

    Anyone who thinks the ratio of law graduates to workers in the United States reflects a healthy profession ought to think carefully. The numbers are 732,000 lawyer jobs and almost 1.5 million law graduates of ABA accredited schools alone of working age. Many of the the 732,000 law jobs are part time or temp jobs - we just don't know how many.

    Do the math -25,000 first year jobs divided by 732,000 and people who actually get first year jobs could work for 29 years on average (to about age 55- 11 years shy of getting full Social Security benefits) if these were all real jobs. However, an indeterminate number of these jobs are temp, doc review and part-time, not to mention up or out jobs in law firms and clerkships that end after a year or two.

    There is evidence in these numbers that the legal job market for experienced lawyers is severely oversaturated and that on average lawyers who get jobs will not be able to work a full 40 year career that most people want the option to work for, so they can retire comfortably.

    The longer term results from Virginia are highly likely to be lousy for many of its grads.

  17. James, you've done okay for yourself. You went to law school (likely to avoid going to Vietnam) and then you went straight to work for the state. That was in a time that working for the state was for those that graduated at the bottom of the class. Now you got yourself a fat pension (paid for by Oregon taxpayers) and you're bragging about that.

    You have the morals of an alley cat. Do the world a favor and die soon so we're not supporting your freeloading butt for another 20 or 30 years.

  18. James, you really think the law school and law job market climate is the same as it was when you graduated 40 years ago? Ha. Are you really that naive? Disgruntled law grads today aren't frustrated they're not making millions. They're frustrated they don't have gainful employment that allows them to pay off their debt and live comfortably. Funny you should call them entitled brats when you're a member of the biggest generation of entitled brats that ever lived. Your generation had it made off the back of your selfless, hard working WW2/Depression Era parents.

    Now I'm not saying Millennials aren't to a large extent selfish or entitled, but you're the pot calling the kettle black my friend.

    PS: to the dude (yes, it's one guy don't think that's not obvious) that keeps bringing up the guy going to law school to get out of Vietnam. Give it a rest, spaz. While I respect Vietnam vets for their courage, Nam was a bullshit, wasteful war and if you don't think so, you're a blindly patriotic dolt. I got no problem with someone doing anything they can to get out of that mess.

  19. From the Oregon State Bar:

    Bar Number: 730202
    Status: Inactive
    Admit Date: 9/21/1973

    Mailing Address:
    James D Averill
    14137 Conway Dr
    Oregon City OR 97045

    County: Clackamas
    Phone: 503 650-7651

  20. First, I again salute Nando for his tireless efforts. That said, I give up. After seeing what is a classic Pyramid scheme(new money-tuition from 1Ls-comes in to pay off old money-the 3Ls given jobs) being created by the #7 law school in the country-well, enough. And the posts about UF and especially Cooley(which still has almost 4,000 students at its many campuses), make two things clear-1. these guys are never going to give up(where else would they get these huge salaries?) and 2. PT Barnum was right-There's a sucker born every minute; why on Earth would anyone-any single person-attend Cooley, let alone 4,000? Look at the nonsense in Indiana and Idaho-there is apparently an inexhaustible supply of dupes willing to take our tax dollars in the form of govt guaranteed loans, and accept huge debt, to go to truly bad law schools and never get jobs. It really is hopeless.
    And I've got no idea if the guy from Oregon actually contacted this website to gloat, but if so-why is he an apologist for this corrupt system? The only real solution is to shut it all down and start over; the level of greed is just too high to fix what's out there now.

    1. It is depressing, but applications are decreasing and enrollments are slowly dropping, thanks in large part to the scambloggers.

  21. And more importantly, if legal work is so incredibly grand, why did attorney James Averill at 10:47am work 30 long years for the state with a final salary of $56,325.36????

    1. Boomers are clueless.

      Take a look at this:

      In 1970, tuition for residents at Michigan was a whopping $340 (That's right: Three-hundred-and-forty dollars and 00/cents) per semester.

      6 semesters: About $2500 (Let's include some money for books) to finance a JD degree from a school like Michigan.

      Now look at this:

      Average wage for 1970: $6,186.24

      I haven't yet found any data from 1970 on attorney wages, likely due to age issues.

      But, we can see that the average wage in 1970 was about 2 and 1/2 times the *total* cost of a legal education.

      That makes things easy. We can also assume that the wages for attorneys were substantially higher than the average wage. So, let's conservatively estimate about $8000.

      Future Boomer assholes were doing just fine in an economy that was 100% domestic, had a production base and, as a result, a middle class that needed and could pay for legal services. Real wages were increasing, not declining. Competition was not as fierce and advanced degrees were not as common either (saturation).

      In sum, right time, right place, right costs.

      Don't even bother talking with or listening to Boomer assholes. It's a complete waste of time and frustration for nothing. They are 100% clueless as to the economic realities of today, the present, 2013.

      To put it simply: The jobs aren't there. The future earnings aren't there. The job security isn't there. The debt IS there. Along with the crappy "salaries" (cough!).

      More like slave wages..

      Today, you start out with a salary that's 1/4 your total law school debt, or less. And you are expected to begin paying that back as well as put food and a roof over your head and, maybe, save for retirement?!?!?

      Don't bet on it.

      Everything that was a plus for future Boomer assholes is completely reversed today.

      You are working with a stacked deck heavily against you. In the end, you have to lose.

  22. James Averill, fuck you. You are a disgusting cunt, but you probably know that already and you're one of those psychopaths who has made a "name" for himself as being a cunt. You call it being conservative, or no-nonsense, or traditional.

    I call it being a cunt.

    And UVA? Biggest scam school out there. What an immense rip off. It's a state school that's essentially gone private, attracting NJ and NY money and excluding in-state students as a result.

    1. ^titr

      It's essentially a private school for rich connected kids.

  23. Being a law professor is a part-time job. Law professors should not be paid 300K to teach 3-4 hours a week. It is an unnecessary cost. Raising tuition to cover their ever increasing salaries is stupid. Do you really need to pay some person 300K to do the same lectures every year? Who benefits under the current system?

    Record the class once, stream on a Netflix type platform every year, get rid of the 300K a year expense/law professor, and cut tuition accordingly.

    I do not know why the current system is based on law students piling on huge debt to support these prima donnas. What most people do not know, unless you have gone to law school is that law school teaches very little about the actual practice of law. Law school is lecture based. This format is easier and more lucrative than practical skills training, think huge class sizes.

    However, lecture based teaching really makes full-time, highly paid law professors unnecessary in the information age.

    Law school should be more of a trade school and cover some very basic lawyer skills. If dental schools were like law school, dentists would not know how to do a filling when they graduated. Most full-time law professors have very little practical legal skills.

    The lawyer market is glutted, and the education is shit.

  24. James Averill is a poster boy for Boomer piggishness. Fucking rat.

  25. The cunt's contact info.

    James P Averill
    Home (503) 650-7651
    14137 Conway Dr
    Oregon City, OR 97045-7013
    Age: 60-64
    Associated: Laura S Henderson, Patricia H Averill

  26. James: You realize there was an economic meltdown in 2008 that sent shockwaves through the legal profession, housing market, and every other area of the professional economy that lead to rounds of layoffs and restricted hiring, right? Or are you eating your own shit at this point?

    Funny how we get to inherit a bankrupt system given all the money we spend on pensions, social security, and medicare, all for the benefit of boomer pigs who then have the nerve to come on here and bark at us for being "entitled." Oh the irony.

    1. "James: You realize there was an economic meltdown in 2008 that sent shockwaves through the legal profession, housing market, and every other area of the professional economy that lead to rounds of layoffs and restricted hiring, right?"

      He could care less - after all, it didn't affect his $80,000 pension.

      BTW, he obviously got his state job right out of law school, and worked for thirty years - so he got to retire at age 55 or so.

  27. @9:24 pm,

    You hit the main points, in brilliant fashion. I covered the tuition history of the University of Michigan on this blog, back on January 10, 2010. That entry was labeled "University of Michigan Tuition History v. Median Household Income Tables." Here is my favorite excerpt from that post:

    "However, it is an undeniable fact that in the span of roughly 27 years, law school tuition at this public university went from representing 11.7 percent of the median household income to consuming more than 75% of the median household income.

    Thus, in-state tuition at the University of Michigan’s law school has increased nearly 6.5 times faster than the median U.S. household income. How in the hell can anyone support such a system?!? How can anyone argue that this is the “free market at work”? Especially, when the demand has been brought about largely by public financing, i.e. federally-backed student loans?!

    Remember, we are talking about a public university. According to the ABA, the rate of tuition has gone up faster at private ABA-accredited law schools than it has at the public law schools.

    For those of you who want to see a comparison using the rate of inflation, $2008 in 1980 would have equaled $4991.56 in 2007. This means that in-state tuition at Michigan Law is currently 7.62 times higher than it would be, had it grown at the rate of inflation, i.e. $38,069/$4991.56."

    Then on June 25, 2010, Elie Mystal wrote an eye-opening piece for ATL, under the header “We Knew This Was Going to Happen: Michigan Encourages Law Grads to go to India.” Take a look at this opening:

    “Is this a “terrible job” or “the inevitable future of the legal economy”? Note: those two answers aren’t mutually exclusive.

    The University of Michigan Law School — the 9th-best law school in America — is now posting job opportunities from India.

    Has it really gotten bad enough that graduates from a top law school should consider international LPO opportunities? Yes, yes it has….

    The job is for Pangea3, one of the largest legal outsourcing companies on the market.”

    More than three years ago, the UniverSity of Michigan Law $chool was encouraging/recruiting its graduates to work for an Indian LPO. The in$tition is still listed as the 9th best law school in the country, by US “News” & World Report - in its 2014 rankings edition.

    For the 2013-2014 academic year, in-state residents attending on a full-time basis will be charged $49,540 in tuition. Full-time, out-of-state law students will be slammed with a tuition bill of $52,540 - for 2013-2014.

    1. Me again.

      Take a look at this:

      Where are the "socially conscious" Boomers on these issues?

      You fuckers loved to protest when times were a lot better over what, today, could be considered non-sequitur issues. In fact, your cohort were the precursors and the instruments in laying the foundations of the moral and economic decay we enjoy today.

      Quite the opposite effect and flies in the face of the self-delusional image you Boomers seem to have of yourselves as being socially-conscious Moral Guardians.

      I guess all that Free Love and acid finally took its toll on what's left of your so-called "brains".


      Where is your cohort on the very real and current issues presented in the link above?

      I'll tell you where.

      "Give me my SS benefits! Waaaaa!"

      "Give me my pension benefits! Waaaa!"

      "Give me my low-cost heathcare! Waaa!"

      That's where.

      All the "protest" gone out of you now, has it? At least when there are real issues, larger than yourselves, to act upon.

  28. You know, I question whether it was a troll who assumed the ID of James. Face it, there could be no worse job than working for the State as an attorney for thirty years . . which generally means very low level work, especially given the limited Salary, at least back then when half way competent people could find much better jobs. Hard to believe this guy with such a lack of credentials would actually come onto this board boasting about how well he did in the past when all he did was live off the taxpayer's dole. At any rate, here is an interesting article:

  29. Columbia Law School is now sending grads an invitation to an all day seminar about how to get into compliance. It is not free of course.

    Columbia Law, like UVa, has many unemployed and underemployed among its graduates because they graduate far too many students, including a fifth of the class as transfers to fatten up their bloated coffers. Of course, they provide lots of law school funded jobs to boost their fake employment statistics at 9 months. They also have the problem of sending a large number of grads to work in New York City, a market where legal jobs have actually declined over the last decade, as per the attached article;

    Problem is that the number of compliance jobs is limited. There are people already doing compliance who have a better shot at getting an open job than a lawyer who has been practicing law. Another problem is that these jobs pay much less than lawyer jobs. Compliance jobs do not require a law degree.

    Yikes! A highly rated law school going half way to admit that their graduates are woefully unemployed - that the Columbia Law degree has no value on the open market for many Columbia Law School grads.

    When the market was good, very few lawyers went into compliance. Most of them got much higher paying legal jobs.

    Here is the invitation:


    October 4, 2013
    8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

    Columbia Law School
    Jerome Greene Hall, Room 106

    Join the Office of Career Services at Columbia Law School and The Regulatory Fundamentals Group for a full-day program on pursuing a career in compliance in the financial services industry.

    This program is designed for those considering a career in compliance as well as those who have recently begun working in the field.

    The conference will give attendees the critical knowledge needed to pursue a career in compliance and provide a framework for addressing those issues in a business setting. Various panels will cover the role of compliance staff, how to build a culture of compliance, and the challenges of working on a compliance team. Attendees will leave with an understanding of the role of a compliance professional, how it differs from legal work, and how to work with business teams.

    The program brings together several accomplished speakers, including keynote speakers Professor Harvey Goldschmid ’65 and Professor Robert Jackson of Columbia Law School. Other panelists include professionals with a deep expertise in managing compliance matters in a heavily regulated industry as well as younger lawyers who have recently made inroads into the compliance field.

    For more information, please see the program agenda or contact

    6.0 non-transitional NYS CLE credits will be available for this event.

    To learn more about alumni career services from the Office of Career Services at Columbia Law School, please see visit

    To learn more about The Regulatory Fundamentals Group, please visit

    Good luck getting a job in compliance. You can get in line with the half a million or so unemployed attorneys applying for these jobs.

  30. The problem with most lawyers are they are risk averse. They want to get a degree from the highest ranked school they can, and then they want the security of a job with a large firm who will hopefully give them a secure lifetime of decent earnings.

    But those days are gone. There is no security in the law. There is no security in going to law school. In a way, this fact is enabling. People who are going to make it are going to have to make it on their own. Avoid the debt and go out there and do something on your own. Remember, an employee is simply a supervised and subservient puppet on a string.

  31. More UVA grads need to come out of their silence and warn 0Ls that going to this school will not guarantee a good job. Nobody gives a shit about UVA's reputation.

  32. James Averill,

    You graduated from a shithole of a law school in 1973. And you couldn't do better than working for the state. You topped out at $56,000. Now you're leeching off the taxpayers via your pension.

    You'll soon be taking in a shit ton more than you ever put into SS or Medicare. Die soon, you piece of shit. Seriously. I'm not kidding. Fucking parasite.

  33. Not sure how it is in other areas of the country currently but I think the only way to make a living as an attorney where I live (NJ) if you don't have connections to get into established shit/mid law is to somehow become a quasi-political hack. The thing with NJ is that there are so many towns (something like 530+) and each has their own town government structure so there are lots of part time lawyer/judge gigs available. Of course, this requires going to political clubs and hanging out at local restaurant bars to politick and build a reputation. But I know many TTT grads who have banded together to form shitlaw firms and then get jobs as zoning board attorneys, town prosecutors, judges etc. that give them an extra 20-30k/yr in salary. A lot of their firms also bill out to local towns and the towns just pay the bills blindly because its a good-old-boy network. But it all requires knowing people. That's how our Governor started out. He was just some Republican Party hack.

    Again, not sure about other areas, but all the firms here ask about your connections in NJ and in political parties/government because they want to see if you can somehow facilitate them feeding off of a public entity. Pay-to-play is alive and well in NJ. It's the whole system here.

  34. It's amazing how useless education is and how useless anything is really. You either are born in the right place, at the right time, to the right people and skate your way through life, or everything is a struggle.

    We can't really change our fates as much as everyone likes to pretend we can. The smartest kid in Africa will probably still be eaten by a lion. He doesn't really have any real opportunities.

    40 years ago the US was rich and you were lucky just to be here. It meant you were going to have a nice life and be secure financially. No matter what you did, you were going to have a shot.

    As a kid I always wondered how people got all the cool jobs. I mean we think of lawyers and doctors, but there are so many other jobs. Jobs in writing, museums, related to sports, there's just a ton of things that people do in fact get paid to do. But if everything requires experience and a specific degree how did people ever get those jobs in the first place?

    The answer of course is you just walked onto the job and it was yours. You didn't have all this debt to worry about, all these licensing rules, you just did it. Bear Grylls did not go to wildlife class and then need 4 years of survival show experience to be what he is now. Just an example, a lot more realistic ones obviously of non-famous people.

    It isn't a higher IQ or some special ability to "work harder." It has nothing to do with some sort of "great personality" and incredible "networking skills." Those are all phoney made up justifications for a strong economy and a favorable employment market.

    When it comes down to it, human beings are very close to one another in terms of intelligence, general likes and dislikes, energy, stamina etc. You can't have such a wide outcome disparity from generation to generation and have it be anything other than external factors.

    Well, 8,000+ years of human history says that there is no such thing as retirement and conflict is the norm. I would bet anything that within the next 10-20 years or so we're going to start getting more of a reset to those times. Our current system is just not sustainable.

  35. @10:27am-thanks for this info, which proves that law school for most grads is a scam EVERYWHERE. First of all, there aren't that many compliance jobs. Second, they don't require a law degree. For the #4 school to fob this off on its students as an option shows how bad the legal market is. It really is almost unbelievable; for all the talk of BigLaw, trust me, nobody in a compliance job has to worry about making $160,000/year-try half that(at the top) but most likely less.
    Unreal...and still the students enroll, pay their govt loan money, incur $200K in debt, and then act shocked when they can't find the big time job. Even with all the information, the money still pours into law schools.

  36. I think the header changed where it now says, "Do Not Attend Unless: (1) You Get Into A Top 8 Law School On Scholarship" where before it did not say, ON SCHOLARSHIP. I noticed this school is ranked 7th along with University of Pennsylvania so it appears as though even top law schools are too risky to pay full price.

    1. According to who? The blog author. What is 'too risky?' There is risk to everything. The risk of attending a school like this is not that high. However, the consequences if it doesn't go well are dire. The vast majority (close to 80%)get a high-paying job in the private sector or a clerkship that can lead to one or a coveted government position. Of course that leaves another 20% who can't get good jobs or any jobs. Is that too risky? For some it might be. If you end up in that category and have a lot of debt, you could be shit out of luck. Very hard to dig out of such a hole.

  37. Let's think about this in economic terms; most professors are Boomers, and most are protected by tenure. They are approaching the apex of their compensation packages, and cannot be cashiered for cheaper labor - such as the huge number of unemployed law grads - so the cost of law school is simply going to be astronomical; that is a fixed reality and none of the alleged "reforms" are going to change it.

    At the same time, the employment outcomes of law graduates are simply pathetic. The US has the best educated waiters and bartenders in the world. And, now with "clinical education," they are practice-ready servers and booze jockeys - and even deeper in debt because clinical education is ridiculously expensive.

    Something has to give, and it would be easier for a University to close a law school than for a law school to conduct real layoffs. It is only a matter of time, as long as the number of chumps keeps falling.

  38. University of Virginia is one of the 13 schools (not 14, sorry Georgetown), where the nine-month-out employment stats look okay. But I wonder about the amount of scam they do not reveal.

    From the perspective of the stats, a lawyer who gets a $120,000+ Big Law job within nine months of graduation is a great success story. But what if s/he is downsized three years later? Hasn't earned enough even to pay off the debt, may not have the expertise or contacts or clients to transition into another firm, and must compete for jobs against more experienced lawyers and fresh-faced recent graduates.

    1. Fair points. But that has nothing to do with the school or any other school. Nor is it unique to law. If you enter a profession (law, finance, medicine) thinking you are set because you graduated from a good school and landed a good first job, you are a fool.

  39. My Neice with only a 165 LSAT was accepted into Chicago. Started her Freshman year about 1 week ago. She is paying full price and turned down scholarships to lesser ranked schools.

    I tried to make her aware of what was going on, even bought her one of the anit-law school books about how terrible a lawyer's life these days. She would not accept the book and would hear nothing of it. As far as she is concerned, she is going to a top school and so will have no problem getting a PI job, ensuring her loans are forgiven . . or alternatively Chicago has some sort of plan itself it offers to its students in debt.

    She is a snowflake. She might make it of course. Some people coming out of schools like Chicago do very well. But paying full cost and competing with all of those brilliant kids at Chicago.. I do worry about her future.

    1. Read this, my friend, and be assured that the worry you feel for your neice is not ill-founded:

      Her problem, in a nutshell, is that she's paying full sticker while the richer, connected kids are not. Being able to attend debt-free is a huge advantage. And you can't beat connections. Even coming from a top school. Law is all about that.

      There are only so many good jobs to go around in law and there are fewer and fewer available of all types of jobs as the profession continues to shrink.

  40. Dybbuk is correct in his assessment. If you land a Biglaw position upon graduation from UVA Law, but you do not hold onto your job for more than three years, then you will likely be in financial hell. Imagine trying to pay off an accumulated student debt load of $200K+ on a salary of $120K-$160K – within three years. Furthermore, if you don’t have your own clientele at that point, then you will not be an attractive candidate for another firm.

    Let's take a look at some of the school's tertiary law journals.

    "Virginia Sports & Entertainment Law Journal (VaSE) - VaSE focuses on all aspects of both sports and entertainment law. Published biannually by the students and the Law School, the journal features articles written by sports and entertainment law professors, as well as those written by experienced practitioners in the sports and entertainment law fields. In addition, law students interested in sports or entertainment law are invited to join through a written tryout process held each semester. Room SL275."

    Notice the last substantive sentence of the paragraph above. Yes, if you are interested in sports or entertainment law, you have a chance to work your way into representing LeBron James or Angelina Jolie. Perhaps you will become general counsel to the Major League Baseball Players Association. After all, you went to a top law school, right?!?!

    "Virginia Journal of Social Policy & the Law - This journal is a student-edited law journal which publishes articles exploring the intersection of law and social policy issues. Recognizing the significance of the law and legal institutions on social conditions, the journal provides a forum in which to examine contending legal, judicial and political perspectives. Among the issues the journal addresses are: health care policy, welfare reform, criminal justice, voting rights, civil rights, family law, employment law, gender issues, education and critical race theory. Room SL159."

    In the end, law equals politics – which strongly favors the wealthy and connected. You do not need to enroll in this expensive-ass in$titution and then write onto this publication, in order to learn that basic fact.

  41. You just cannot talk sense into these kids. My kids are not becoming lawyers after my top law degree has provided me with the last 10 years of job hell. No, but one of my kids is going for a masters in an academic subject with no practical application and few jobs. Does not matter how hard you try to explain supply and demand - the kid has special snowflake syndrome.
    I get angry fights if I really push and say this is useless and a huge waste of money and that the kid will deeply regret getting this degree later on. Classes start this week.

    1. What do you think they should be doing? Your points are fair (and getting a masters in a non-useful subject with little employment potential certainly seems to be a foolish choice). But there are not many good options out there these days. Especially if you don't have a math or science mind.

  42. My calculation is that is takes a decade at big law type pay to pay off the cost of going to law school, including lost income.

    Whether you are borrowing or paying out of pocket, you need some idea of where you will be 10 years out, and how long you can expect to work and at what pay to determine if it is a good idea to buy a law degree.

  43. Just to be clear, the how long you can work as a lawyer is a critical element of the cost-benefit analysis of going to law school. You will spend the first decade paying off the cost of law school, loans or no loans. If you look at the total number of lawyer jobs in the U.S., 732,000 and estimate that maybe 625,000 are full time permanent jobs, and you assume 25,000 grads a year get real law jobs, there are only 25 years of jobs to go around - not 40 years, which is needed for a full career. Furthermore, this means on average you get only 15 years of working after you earn off the cost of going to law school. Most people start law school between age 21 and 24. With these numbers, lawyers will not be able to work by the time they hit their early 50s.

    It would be great if going to a top school like UVa took its grads out of the tournament guild so to speak. It doesn't though. The Cooleys and Loyolas and New York Law Schools get jobs and can beat out the UVa grad a few years out in this tournament guild.

  44. In New York, some compliance jobs pay very well. Others are at a fraction of the $160,000 starting salary. The problem is that compliance jobs are very hard to get, especially if you are a lawyer.

    As a lawyer from big law with a lot of expertise in at some of the areas compliance jobs are seeking, I only got one in person interview out of many applications, and that was a decade ago when the legal job market was not as saturated. It was in my area of expertise, exactly. The base pay was 60% of my quite high law firm pay then, but the overall pay was probably about 80% in a much more secure job. Guess who they hired - not one, but two guys who were already doing the compliance job in a comparable institution.

  45. The only law professors getting fat salaries are the boomer pigs and admins like deans who have been there for decades and got in with non-elite degrees. Of course they don't hire new profs from those non-elite institutions, the bastards pulled up the ladder after they climbed it. I know a 32 yr old UPenn law grad who just got a post as a professor at a TT and he gets paid shit (this was after Skadden fired him after his obligatory 4 years of slave labor for the boomer pig partners there). Seriously, starting salaries for new profs in their 30s is not that great. The tenured pigs are shoveling as much in their fat faces as possible and new profs are not doing well. The new starting salaries are commensurate with summers off, decreased enrollment, etc. But of course the boomer pigs don't surrender any salary to help out fellow academics.

    Additionally, with applications decreasing, lots of law schools are just downsizing by attrition. So when a greedy boomer pig retires/dies the school won't hire to fill that spot. I was out at dinner with a bunch of people and one woman's boyfriend who went to NYU law and lost his job at the UN is currently unemployed and trying to find a law school to hire him. He can't find anything better than an adjunct post and he said lots of schools are cutting back on non-essential course offerings that have little interest among students, like international law (useless). The new strategy is to hire adjuncts so they can avoid paying health benefits. I know another Hofstra grad who is unhappy at their shitlaw firm and when he called a head hunter the guy told him he has people from Sullivan and Skadden fighting over shitty in-house compliance positions and said not to bother sending his resume. After a few discussions with headhunters he realized he was lucky to have a salaried law job and just keeps his head down and mouth shut.

    It might not be empirical evidence but I could go on and on with stories about "elite" grads hurting. Just because you go to UVA law doesn't mean you are guaranteed a lifelong legal career. Again, the elite law school scam is as follows: clerkship for 1 year and biglaw for 3-4 years, then they all have to run to find law school jobs. Not a chance in this new market. Their model is cracking, you are seeing more and more "elite" grads struggling. Just imagine the job market if Columbia Law School is holding information sessions on compliance jobs.

    Lastly, elite grads won't get many shit/midlaw or compliance jobs because they'll be far too overqualified. Those employers will just think the elite grads couldn't hack it in biglaw. And many shit/midlaw people resent elites and wouldn't hire them just on general principle. Plenty of gritty city lawyers would tell a UVA law grad to fuck off in no uncertain terms.

    Kudos to Nando for helping to spearhead all of this. The bastards are on the ropes and the tide is turning.

  46. The thing most women probably don't realize when they go to these top law schools is they are essentially destroying any hope of love and marriage and kids. What guy will want to spend time with a woman who does nothing but work, especially another lawyer? Most male lawyers want to come home to sweet, sensitive, warm partners. Not women who are competing for big law jobs and partnerships.

  47. Not true, but many women lose their careers if they want a family. Only exceptions are women who marry the senior partner and work at the firm and women whose husbands give the firm millions in business. Those women easily keep their jobs and get promoted.

  48. Look at the drop in Columbia Law School's entering class stats with their incredible shenanigans - huge class, huger number of transfers, bloated expenses. They deserve what they get. Never giving them a dime.

  49. The Law Schools in DC are resorting to cannibalism...things are melting down rapidly.

    1. It's time to celebrate, so they're having a Donner party!

  50. I've rebooted the Junkyard. Sorry for the outage.

  51. To respond to 4:28 - my kid getting the useless masters has a 3.86 from a top 50 national university, Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude and a long list of accomplishments and unpaid work in the masters field that could help substantially in getting into any professional school. That kid is also an excellent test taker - very high SATs but okay grades from high school. I would mention medical school as an option for one thing, but the kid does not have the hard science courses. No one can talk sense into a special snowflake.

  52. I graduated from UVA Law in the late 1990's, the relative boom times, but this addresses all law school faculty and administrators in general.

    The thought that a law school professor needs to be paid $300,000-$400,000 because he/she could earn more in private practice is a joke. BigLaw and Mid-Law Partners still need to bill over 2,000 hours a year to keep their jobs if they're service partners; i.e., don't have clients who come to them, and work on other colleagues' matters. That's about 167 billable hours a month, or 42 hrs a week, with no vacation, etc. It takes at least 50 hours in the office to bill 42 hrs. Each and every week. Based on their class schedule, office hours, and work product consisting of an article once or twice a year, I'd be surprised if they worked more than 20 hours a week.

    Law professors may be academically smart, but their type of smartness is suitable to only US Supreme Court practice, which maybe 50 lawyers do in the whole country (90 percent in DC). They couldn't make it as every day trial litigators, the most important requirement for which is to meet constant and brutal deadlines, the missing of which can lose a case by itself, be a ground for a valid malpractice suit, or get you fired.

    I'm still in private practice after 15 years, but I estimate that maybe only half of my classmates are still practicing law on a regular basis. I was lucky it cost alot less to attend law school then (I think I incurred $45-50K total in law school loans), which still took me 7-8 years to pay off, 5 years of which was at BigLaw 20 firm. I can't imagine going now and paying $45K a year tuition. God help the kids going to law school now with their fantasies of enjoying weekends in the Hamptons after making partner at a big New York firm.

  53. There's so much bitterness in these comments that I hardly know where to begin.

    Call me "Hated Boomer." I graduated from UVA law school in 1977. At that time, the average annual salary for attorneys in Virginia - big firm, small firm, solo, government jobs, all lumped together - was $7,500. I never cared whether I practiced law; what I wanted was to be a writer, and I figured that law school would give me a lot of practice and would sharpen my analytical skills. It did both - I landed a research job out of law school - yes, I had to compete for it - making $11,500 a year and thought I had landed in clover.

    I've had a number of jobs since then working for private employers, the federal government, and myself as a freelancer. I've used my legal skills and my talent and interest in writing at all of them. I've never made a lot of money, but I've made enough. I have enjoyed my career and am still at it.

    While I was at UVA, posted in a frame on a wall in the main hall of the law school was a letter written by Clarence Darrow, famous for his role in the Scopes monkey trial. He was resopnding to his nephew's request for advice on going to law school. Darrow told his nephew not to do it, that lawyering was hard work in a cutthroat environment with little likelihood of personal fulfillment. My point is that debate over the "value" of law school - at whatever financial cost - is not new.

    Minus their cussing and name-calling, I agree with almost everyting that a lot of folks have said here. But law school is not trade school. If you believe that law school is going to be your ticket to a secure future, then you haven't done your due diligence. (Most of my friends left the law 10 or 15 or 20 years ago, long before the great crash, for jobs that paid less than their legal jobs but came without the hassles.) Are law professors overpaid? Sure, but so are lawyers who bill their time at $200 (or more) an hour.

    You should go to law school because you want to go to law school. If what you want is a good income in a field with an essentially guaranteed future, be a plumber or an electrician or a mechanic - people will always need things to be fixed, and the education is a lot cheaper. And you can make a lot of money and go home at a decent hour every day.

    Or go to law school without a preconceived notion of what you're going to do when you graduate. That degree will open doors in lots of places other than law firms. Go with your eyes open - to the realities of institutional and educational structures, and of career opportunities other than private practice or government work.

    As Hunter Thompson so often said, "Buy the ticket, take the ride."

  54. I know UVA law grads that are working doc review. One of the kids from my class is a waiter at a high end DC restaurant.

    This place is a shithole too.

  55. your blog would be better received if you did not have the disgusting images . While i don't disagree with much of what you write the use of the disgusting pictures leaves one to wonder.


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