Friday, March 14, 2014

Outrageous Law School Debt Rankings - for the JD Class of 2013 - Have Been Released

Top Ten Biggest Financial Rapists in “Legal Education”: As reported to, and published by, US “News” & World Report, here  are the biggest offenders.  The following figures pertain to “average indebtedness of 2013 graduates who incurred law school debt.”  The percentage of the class that incurred debt for law school is included next to the amount:

Thomas Jefferson School of Law: $180,665; 92% 
New York Law School: $164,739; 84% 
American University (Washington): $158,636; 88% 
California Western School of Law: $157,748; 90% 
Northwestern University: $155,777; 78% 
Whittier College: $154,267; 92% 
University of Chicago: $153,753; 85% 
Florida Coastal School of Law: $150,360; 91% 
St. Thomas University: $150,166; 91% 
University of Miami: $148,513; 79% [Emphasis mine]

Keep in mind that the debt totals above do not include the amount of student loans taken out for undergrad.  They also do not take into account the interest that accrues while the victim/student is enrolled.  At these ridiculous, monstrous sums, you will be relying on private loans to fund much of your garbage “education.”

There is No Correlation to “Quality” of School: Take a look at the latest edition of the law school rankings scheme from USN&WR.  University of Chicago is tied for 4th best, and Northwestern is rated 12th in the country.  The University of Miami settled at 61st, and American University Washington Commode of Law splashed all the way down to the 72nd spot.  New York Law $chool is listed as the 140th greatest, most phenomenal and amazing law school in the land.

The following five toilets are ranked in the FOURTH TIER: California We$TTTTern $chool of Law; Florida Coastal Sewer of Law; St. Thomas “University”; TTTThoma$ Jeffer$on SOL; and Whittier College.  That is an incredible achievement, huh?!?!

Other Coverage: Matt Leichter wrote a solid LSTB entry entitled “Record 14 Law Schools Didn’t Report 2013 Graduate Debt to US News.”  Look at his analysis and accompanying chart:

“Each year, accompanying the U.S. News rankings is the online magazine’s list of law schools by graduate debt. The law schools are required to report this information to the ABA, but the ABA inexplicably doesn’t release it to the public, even though it’s one of the most useful things people studying law schools would like to know about. Instead, the ABA takes an unweighted average of the numbers and posts it in this pdf. Thus, for some reason, we must rely on U.S. News, and of course, law schools can decline to transmit their graduates’ average debt numbers.

On average, about four law schools (excluding Widener University’s Harrisburg campus, the three Puerto Rico law schools, and Belmont because I don’t think it’s had any graduates yet) don’t report average graduate debt levels. The previous record was six in 2010. This year, as many as fourteen chose not to. Here’s the list and their last reported average graduate debt levels:

Arizona Summit (formerly Phoenix) – $162,627 [UPDATE: Per the comments below, Arizona Summit Law School's Web site posts its 2012-13 graduates' average amount borrowed as $184,825.]
Southwestern – $147,976
Atlanta’s John Marshall – $142,515
Cornell – $140,000
Touro – $137,781
Campbell – $130,428
Santa Clara – $129,621
Loyola (La.) – $124,335
Thomas M. Cooley – $122,395
Appalachian – $114,740
La Verne – $112,628
Texas Southern – $99,992
Florida A&M (two years in a row) – $96,934
Rutgers-Camden – $93,990 [Emphasis in original]

Leichter pays close attention to detail, and he researches his posts thoroughly before publishing.  The writing is clear and concise.  If you are still considering pursuing a law degree, and you choose to ignore his data or that contained in the other scam-blogs, then you deserve to be in financial ruin.

Conclusion: If you are not wealthy or SERIOUSLY connected and you believe that it is a wise decision to attend law school, then you truly are a cretin.  You should not be entrusted to watch someone's goldfish over the weekend.  I seriously doubt that you have the mental capacity to dress yourself in the morning.  Furthermore, it is obvious that the 14 ABA-accredited trash pits that WILLINGLY CHOSE to not supply their debt figures are merely trying to pull one over on dimwitted applicants.  Would you purchase a car from some ass-clown in a cheap suit, if he concealed certain information about the automobile - such as the fact that it had been involved in a serious accident?!?!  Then why in the hell would you incur $145K-$200K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt for a sorry-ass law degree from a festering garbage heap?!  Grow a brain stem and do something useful with your life.


  1. Going to law school now is financial suicide for most.

  2. Sweet Jesus!

    When I graduated, I had $55k total. After extended unemployment / underemployment, that number grew to ~ $120k.

    Now, people are starting out with $150k or more in debt.

    Let's be real here: Most people (90%++) can't even pay off $10,000 in credit card debt. How the fuck do they plan on paying off $150k?

    The answer is: They can't. IBR / PAYE are simply controlled bankruptcy programs.

    They will be Debt Slaves until they die.

    The #1 commentor on this thread is quite correct. Law school is simply financial suicide at this point.

    You're not rich or on a full ride, don't go. No guarantees on exit opps either. That's just advice for going in.

  3. I just wonder what staff/professors/deans at Thomas Jefferson think of themselves... Their students are the most in debt, and less than 1/3 of their 2012 graduates got lawyer jobs.

    Do they not realize their students are in financial ruin?

    Maybe they really don't get it, they're so insulated...

    Because they can't actually know, and understand this information and continue to do their jobs, they must have to push it out of their minds. I mean they have families, and salaries to protect...

    1. It's a well-paying job in San Diego, baby!

      As for the students, they are just collateral damage. It's their problem.

    2. I think this often-quoted observation by Upton Sinclair is relevant: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

  4. It's impossible to pay down $150k.

    The average American can't even pay down a $10,000 balance on their credit card.

    These schools are creating Debt Serfs for life.

    IBR / PAYE are simply controlled bankruptcy.

  5. Of course they know their students are ruined. Law school deans and professors are exactly like the sinister Coachman, the owner of Pleasure Island in Pinocchio.

    A description of the Coachman from the Disney Villains wiki: "The Coachman is an old man and chubby owner of "Pleasure Island", where he takes bad-mannered children and allows them to misbehave worse than before, resulting in them transforming into donkeys. The Coachman and his mysterious, hooded minions then sell the donkeys to salt mines for a profit. Like Stromboli, the Coachman's fate is never revealed."

    Old man? Chubby? (maybe not former Dean Mitchell) Selling children to the salt mines for profit? This sounds disturbingly familiar.

    The difference between the Coachman and a law school dean is that instead of taking ill-mannered children, he takes extra well-mannered children who believe they're making sacrifices for a better future.

    The conceit about law school is that instead of luring in suckers through promises of fun and good times, they lure them in by promising if they work extra hard and jump through all the hoops, a profitable career awaits!

    The patron saint of law school deans and professors:

  6. Don't go to law school unless...

    you're from the protected, preferred and connected classes.

    PPC is where it's at. For everyone else, law school is fool's gold.

  7. Law schools need to be required to make basic financial disclosures to all incoming lemmings before classes start. Each lemming should be shown how much debt they are going to be taking on if they spend 3 years in lol skewl. Each should be told approximately how much the monthly payments will be to service the debt over time.

    Then, the commodes should be required to disclose employment outcomes and meaningful salary data for the last three graduating classes. They should be required to provide the average monthly salary for recent grads and show a sample monthly budget using that average monthly salary, with student loans deducted from that average salary.

    Its not a perfect idea, but I think if law schools were required to do something like this, lemmings would go in fully informed and the law sewers could fairly invoke caveat emptor.

    This wont happen anytime ever, though, because a policy like this would cause second thoughts to a sufficient number of 0Ls and their parents that enrollment numbers would nosedive even further. Even a drooling idiot could look at a table and see that $3,500 / month isn't enough to live on when over 1k comes out to pay student loans.

  8. I graduated from a 2nd tier school in 95, about $85k in debt. Paid it off in about 10 yrs and now have a reasonable income in-house. Not wealthy by any stretch. but enough for the classic "American Dream." Seems like the possibility of doing that has become much more remote these days.

    1. Yes. You had two things going for you - first, half of the debt that present grads now have. Second, you graduated into a very good economy, which lasted for the first five years of your career, which meant that you could get established.

  9. There is a special place in hell for law professors and law deans, making their living off of deception, that creates an ever growing class of super debtors with limited job prospects.

    180K+, 92% of the class for TJLS. INSANE!!!!

    Self-immolation by fire is a better gamble!

  10. TJLS - home of Prof. Kaimipono Wenger, a man who frequently writes in support of paying reparations to the descendants of slaves. And all the while, this shameless hypocrite earns a very comfortable living off the backs of modern day debt slaves. 180 K of debt for a worthless TJLS degree is criminal.

    1. The Angry AccountantMarch 17, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      What is even more funny and hypocritical is that this Professor Wenger is employed by a school named after a slave-holder Thomas Jefferson! LOL

  11. Those professors, cocksuckers that they are, want to remain employed in San Diego. They would defend Satan to the ends of the earth if it paid enough.

  12. Campos came in and intentionally or unintentionally (it doesnt matter) sort of unheated the message.

    He turned it all into cool analysis and his namesake OLSS blog continued the tone.

    Lives are destroyed and are still being destroyed by the law school scam and the destroyed people have no voice in spite of all that has transpired.

    OLSS is a mockery of Occupy Wall Street as a movement and as preposterous as mockery can get.

    Merritt is sipping coffee and drawing her student loan backed paycheck and pension and the rest of us are really, really, really, screwed and for the rest of our lives.

    But Thane Messinger is offering Student Loan Debt refiancing and a free book is included.

    God help us all. OY!

  13. The law school pigs do not care about their students at all. They are in and out for the buck. I remember my corps professor would lecture for the entire class, end right on time, walk out the room, and head directly up to his office. I followed him once and he went right in his office and sat down and was reading the wall street journal. I had an outline from someone who took him and this prof pig literally must have read word for word from a script bc what was on the outline was what he was saying again verbatim in our class. This guy did no work at all. Also half the courses offered had like 5 people in them. I don't know how the salaries are sustained with declining enrollment. I guess that's why Brooklyn is liquidating assets to pay salaries.

    If you think these schools can survive, guess again. A lot of them are leveraged to the hilt like piss poor third world nations. They sold bonds to build disgusting buildings and have debt themselves to service. Of course the profs aren't individually liable for that debt like the students. The "not for profit" can just go bankrupt and they can run away after a lifetime of ruining young peoples lives.

    1. The Angry AccountantMarch 15, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      I come from public accounting not law, but most of my grad instructors were the same way, they just wanted the money, none cared about my employment prospects. They just care about the money, thats it. My college president from a small college of 3,000 students earns $410,000 a year. Are you telling me being college president is harder than most tought private sector management jobs where they make maybe $200,000 a year and they have to travel lots and go to meetings?

  14. Nando,

    I have been following your blog for some time now and I wish to share my story with your readers.

    I graduated law school 15 years ago. At that time, law school was a scam--we just didn't figure it out until the last year of law school. Career services only catered to those in the top 10% of the class. If you were not in the top 10% of the class, career services treated you like a leper.

    I was fortunate in that I spent 2 years working in the legal profession before embarking on the scam trip known as law school. During those 2 years, I cultivated solid relationships. In fact, I became good friends with a partner at a V20 firm who promised me employment after graduation. Unfortunately, that partner got sacked during my 2L year and I never heard from him again. I was able to land a trial level clerkship a month before I graduated law school. I was lucky. After the clerkship was over, my judge placed me with a mid size law firm (60 attorney firm) which worked me 80 hours a week for a miserable salary of $65K a year. This was around 2000. The partners at this firm were the worst human beings I ever encountered. For example, one day while I was driving to court, I was hit by a truck. I was taken to the hospital and my car was totaled. This happened on a Friday. On Saturday morning, a partner called my cell phone and asked me where the hell I was. I told him "Hey John, I am doing well thank you for your concern. I was released from the hospital at 8AM and have no car because it was totaled in yesterday's accident." He replied by telling me to rent a car and get to work. When I asked if the firm would reimburse me for the car rental, he told me to go fuck myself. I quit the following Monday.

    Eventually I set up a practice with another attorney. It took a couple of years to get in the black but we made it. In 2012, my law partner died of a heart attack. He was 39 years old. He had developed a bad case of obesity and ate crap food all the time. The stress of the job was the bullet that killed him (he practiced matrimonial law).

    After a nasty dispute with his widow (she sued me for 80% of the partnership's equity), I went on my own. The practice of law today has changed for the worse. Lawyers are always undercutting each other on fees and committing ethical violations by guaranteeing results to clients just to put food on the table. I blame the law school industry for the profession's current ills. If law schools hadn't gone to mass production mode in the mid 2000s all the way through the present, lawyers wouldn't be killing each other over business. Can you believe that today, I saw a young lawyer quote $50 to a client in traffic court to represent him in a moving violation? I remember when I used to charge $750 for these types of matters. Now I have to compete with the clueless noob who doesn't know what the fuck to charge because law school doesn't teach you shit.

    I am currently exploring exit options. I want out of this miserable profession. I am fortunate that I graduated with no student loans (I had a full ride to undergrad and law school); however, I feel this profession has destroyed my soul and will wind up killing me. Anyone considering attending law school should have a heart to heart talk with a practicing lawyer. I am positive that if an 0L shadowed a lawyer for a week, he/she would quickly abandon the idea of entering this filthy profession which only seems to benefit law professors, deans and Biglaw partners.

    1. Anyone considering law school should read this story and the many others like it. If you choose not to believe it, then go to law school and pay their outrageous prices. Remember one thing, no one here is trying to sell you anything.

    2. Need to read the above story. Law is a really stressful field in most cases. People don't get that. Kids now don't know how much work it is, and how demeaning it can be.

      And they want to pay $200,000 for the privilege to do this? You're not going to get BigLAW or cushy Fed. Gov. gig, it's literally not happening your chances are nonexistent... You'll be in shitlaw most likely...

      If fewer went the competition would be a lot easier to deal with.'

      The ABA has completely abdicated it's role in protecting and regulating the profession...

      They basically let all new lawyers hang out to dry with what the author mentioned, the mass production of lawyers for at least the last 15 years.

    3. Matrimonial law is the worst law to practice. Far too emotional. Far too much vindictiveness among the parties. Its not worth it. I decided long ago to have nothing to do with it and I have turned down every case out there having to do with divorces, child custody . . etc. BUT, if a lawyer wants work . . . there is plenty of matrimonial work to go around. Just get your retainer up front.

    4. no. i graduated from the university of north carolina law school above median when there were only one fourth of number of law grads that we have today. send out four hundred resumes which did not garner me a single interview. fortunately i had passed the cpa exam.

    5. agreed - except it is not a "profession" anymore. that ended a long time's a seedy business now, that's all...

  15. ^ this. Law sucks donkey balls even if you "make" it.

  16. You go to law school now (especially a shitty one) and it's official. You're fucking retarded.

  17. I remember sitting in a alcoholics anonymous meeting many years ago and before I started law school.

    A man who was a lawyer and maybe in his fifties gave a talk and kept repeating how being a lawyer caused him all kinds of stress and unhappiness, and although he didn't say the profession "made" him drink, the overall impression after listening to the speech was that it sure as hell did!! :)

    But that was one person's story.

    As for the debt figures in the OP, it is madness and only a fool would sign a promissory note for over 100K of non dischargeable debt, since it will ruin your credit forever, among other evils.

    Maybe the notion of becoming a lawyer as a "Dream" is the heart of the matter, and maybe a book kind of like a Studs Terkel book containing an oral history with a lot of tales from the unhappy lawyers would help to place the "dream" into a more realistic and dire perspective.

    Maybe two books: One with the unhappy oral histories and one with the happy ones so as to be fair (fairness being the editor's job)

    Or maybe the scamblogs contain all the oral histories already.

    I don't know.

    1. Welcome back Painter.

  18. Thank you for sharing your story, 4:55 am. Anyone considering law school needs to heed the advice and warnings from such successful JDs.

    Former Biglaw associate Will Meyerhofer wrote an entry labeled "Not Worth It" - back on April 13, 2011. This is a must read - for anyone even remotely thinking of attending law school. The author comes out swinging from the opening bell:

    “I was kidding around with some of the guys at my gym, tossing around the question – would you fight Mike Tyson for $3 million?

    One of them joked – I think he heard this on Howard Stern – that he’d fellate Mike Tyson for $3 million. He could spend the first $1 million on mouthwash and retire on the rest.

    Then another guy spoke up, a sometime professional heavyweight boxer. (I’m not making this up, he really has boxed, for big money, not too long ago – and has plans to do so again.)

    “It’s not worth it. Mike would destroy you. There would be no retirement.”

    He went on to explain what he meant. He knew from experience – this guy had been in the ring. You’d have more than bruises – you’d have concussions, brain injuries, damaged bones and joints. You’d never be the same – and it wouldn’t be worth it. You’re better off not having $3 million but appreciating the finer things, like being able to walk and talk and think.

    I saw his point.

    Biglaw is also not worth it, even for big money. That’s because it, too, destroys you – just like Iron Mike.

    A lawyer client, a fifth year at a big firm on the West Coast, mused to me the other day – “This job wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t end up crying alone in my office so much.”

    “You mean, it wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t suck?”

    “Yeah,” she said. “That’s pretty much it. Imagine doing this for ordinary money. No one would consider doing this for ordinary money.”

    No one would consider fighting Mike Tyson for ordinary money, either. And it’s not worth it for $3 million. Big law isn’t even worth it for $160k a year.

    Don’t believe it? Allow me to elaborate.

    The process begins with sleep deprivation – plain, simple sleep deprivation. Not sleeping. Staying up all night and facing sarcasm if you plan to take the following day off.

    One of my clients brought a pillow into work, so she could put her face down on her desk and sleep for an hour at a time. Her officemate saw her, and told her what a good idea it was. Then she brought in a pillow, too. Only at a law firm.”

  19. Meyerhofer then continued:

    “You might not think sleep deprivation is a big deal. Hell, you’re a machine. You don’t need sleep. All-nighters? No sweat.

    Sleep deprivation is like binge drinking. There’s a machismo around staying up all night, night after night – like doing ten shots of tequila. You’re tough. Not a problem.

    Later, as you puke your guts out and pray for sweet release, you realize you were being an idiot.

    Read a few scientific studies on sleep deprivation and you will understand it fries your brain and leaves you an emotional wreck. You can’t think straight, your immune system crashes, you fall apart. As one of my senior associate clients put it, “I thought I was unflappable when I got here. I’m flapped.”

    Naturally, if you aren’t sleeping, you’re also not having a life. So relationships dissolve, friendships fade, your pet starts living with your parents. And you start thinking about boinking that guy from the anti-trust group, even if he isn’t much to look at.

    Okay. So why is there sleep deprivation at big law firms?

    The billable hour, obviously – but also the plain fact that partners and associates are in direct opposition. There is no “team” or “spirit” at big law firms because partners and associates are there to achieve conflicting ends. One is there to destroy the other. The other is there to try to survive. It’s like Mike Tyson and you in the ring. He seeks to crush you. You cling to life – by trying to focus on the money you’re earning.

    I had a partner client tell it to my face: “My firm is about partner profits. That’s it, pure and simple.”

    Lemmings, even if you do manage to land your “dream” job of being a Biglaw associate, this is the world you are entering. Plus, corporate pig clients have caught onto the billable hour scam.

    By the way, lack of sleep increases your chance of having a stroke - as well as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart attack. Check out some other potential, harmful effects:

    Do you still want to pursue your idiotic dream, brainless lemming?!?! When I see non-traditional students - especially those with spouses and children - walk away from a nice-paying job or career, in order to go to law school, I want to smash a cinder-block over their head. If you live in an affordable area, and you are making around $50K or more per year - at a comfortable, non-stressful job and you have little student debt - then count your blessings. Hold onto that son of a bitch with everything you can muster. Perhaps, you can work your way up to management at some point. In short, step back from the ledge - and do not commit financial suicide.

    1. SO AGREE!! When I talk to people at school who left a stable career to incur hundreds of thousands in debt with no job prospects, I WANT TO SCREAM "WHY WHY WHY"

      I would give anything to have what they HAD, and gave up...

  20. The Angry AccountantMarch 15, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    One must also understand this is an "average" or mean, which means it is a measure of centrsl tendency, so yes, there are graduates with debt less than those numbers but there are graduates who have debt LARGER than those averages. I would love to see the standard deviation numbers and the minimum and maximums, then we could see how ugly the numbers really are. Plus there's no excuse for the debt for Thomas Jefferson being higher than Chicago or Northwestern. At least with Northwestern and Chicago you gotta a chance but Tom Jefferson, no way!

  21. On a related note, it looks like even the legal profession could be replaced to some extent by robots. I've just copied and pasted the first three paragraphs. Something else that prospective law students should be keenly aware of.

    SAN FRANCISCO — Who needs an army of lawyers when you have a computer?

    When Minneapolis attorney William Greene faced the task of combing through 1.3 million electronic documents in a recent case, he turned to a so-called smart computer program. Three associates selected relevant documents from a smaller sample, "teaching" their reasoning to the computer. The software's algorithms then sorted the remaining material by importance.

    "We were able to get the information we needed after reviewing only 2.3 percent of the documents," said Greene, a Minneapolis-based partner at law firm Stinson Leonard Street.,0,143818,full.story

  22. The horse that drives the whole cart is federally backed student loans.

    As long as that exists, there will be no market corrections any time soon. Maybe not for many years and until there are so many countless indebted and educated and the economy crashes because of it.

    Or maybe not. Maybe Higher Ed. will always be a cash cow, and maybe the biggest responsibility to warn will rest on the shoulders of High School guidance counselors who have the ability to warn young 18 year olds with virgin credit of the financially catastrophic potentials from predatory student loans.

    If you can spare the time to watch all of this, it is pretty good and might help in perspective. The difference between borrowing for College and Law School is that in some cases the latter is a doubling down of sorts:

    Another myth that should be discussed is the one about a College Grad making a million more over a lifetime as opposed to uneducated.

    Frank Green is the heart of the conversation.

  23. Student loan debt will ruin an entire generation. Our economy relies on consumer spending, and people can't buy overpriced crap when they're trying to pay off six figure loans on a barista salary.

    1. The Angry AccountantMarch 15, 2014 at 8:37 PM

      I have said the same thing too. If these kids cant buy crap because they are serivicing debt, you can count on having a huge slump in consumption. Consumption is 70% of our economy. You have outfits like Salli Mae sucking consumer spending out of our economy. That is why we had student loans dischargeable in bamkruptcy initially, it allowed for debots to discharge their debts and start from a new base. Also having student loans dischargeable was both a mechanism for creditors to not lend too much because they knew it was dischargeable.

  24. Aaaaaand the roach is back. It's been marshalling uts energy for a week, and it now has a whole BAG of YouTube links and roach poems.

    So very tired of the (false) claim that student loan repayments are going to "crash the economy." Those repayment checks *******ARE******* being put to use and pumped into the economy. Seriously, Roachie, what do you think the people at Sallie Mae DO with the money they receive each month? Do they set the money on fire like the fucking Joker?

  25. 12:29p is right; no law schools have closed, and none will, until the federal faucet of money is shut off. Law schools have shown they will do anything to survive(look at the admissions stats, with standards ever sinking). Schools will lay off some staff, consolidate, etc etc etc but this is a huge country of 300+ million, and there are thousands and thousands of lemmings who watch TV shows and think "I want to be a lawyer" absorbing the 200K debt b/c they're going to be glamorous and rich and...Think I'm wrong? Then why in the world are there so many trade schools offering worthless degrees-criminal justice, for example-for which there are NO JOBS-but tens of thousands of dollars of debt?. It's a sucker's game, with Uncle Sam paying the tab; unless the loans stop, the gullible will continue to attend very bad law schools, take on huge debt, and have no job prospects. And their lives will be ruined, and everyone else will pay the bill. It's got to stop, but will only stop if the politicians take action-any guess on when that will be?

    1. Sometime in the year 2450, when annual tuition is $3 million on average.

    2. Some will; we've seen 30-40% reductions in class size at some schools. Even if they held tuition constant, that's a serious hit. If they had to cut tuition 20%, that's pushing a 50% reduction in revenues. That's hard for a business to take, especially if it wasn't prepared for it, and the majority of the payroll has tenure.

      No bank in their right mind will loan to a free-standing law school.

  26. the federal law school loans will be shut down when the welfare scam is eliminated. Who wants to be labeled racist when you can keep your political office and or big government salary while you laugh at people of all economic and intellectual profiles who continue to destroy or fail to improve their lives.

    law schools aren't going anywhere.


    On March 11, 2013, Time published an Adam Cohen piece entitled “Just How Bad Off Are Law School Graduates?” Check out the meaty portion below:

    [A]ll of this law-school work-making is raising some fundamental questions about whether there are broader forces at work that are permanently altering the legal profession.

    It may seem far off today, but it was not long ago that the good times were rolling for lawyers. In 2007, 91.2% of law school graduates got jobs and salaries were soaring. After the 2008 meltdown, the employment rate was far lower — and the quality of jobs a lot worse. In 2009, just 65.4% of law school graduates got jobs for which they needed to pass the bar.

    A grim sport has emerged of exchanging stories about just how bad things are. Many lawyers are stuck doing tedious, document-intensive contract work for as little as $25 an hour — not the worst job in the world, certainly, but not what many of them envisioned when they spent three years of their lives and $150,000 to get a law degree.

    And there are plenty of worse jobs. “Above the Law,” a website that follows the grim legal market closely, reported one listing on Boston College Law School’s job site that offered an annual salary of just $10,000 which “Above the Law” insisted the firm “had to have known” was “below minimum wage.”

    And it gets worse still. There are a surprising number of job postings for lawyers that offer no salary at all, including government law jobs. That raises the question — as one headline put it — “Would You Work as a Federal Prosecutor — For Free?”

    Being unemployed — or working at minimum wage — is rough in the best of circumstances. But it is especially crippling for students who get out of school with six-figure debts that are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. The average debt load for law school graduates is now over $100,000 — and at some schools, it tops $150,000.

    There are two views about the current bad times in the legal profession. One holds that it is a temporary setback, caused by the Great Recession, and that when the economy comes back, so will demand for lawyers. In fact, there have been some modest signs of an upturn in the legal job market.

    The more pessimistic view is that the market will never recover: that as a result of globalization, it has become easier for law firms and companies to outsource legal assignments to places like India, where foreign lawyers will work for a fraction of what an American lawyer would earn. There are also new technologies that are putting lawyers out of work — including software that can do tedious document-review projects that used to require an actual human.

    And there is a third source of downward pressure: as in many industries, corporations and other legal clients are increasingly intent with doing more with less. They are insisting on fewer billable hours, and smaller bills, and that translates into fewer, and lower-paid, lawyers.”

    Do you still want to go to law school, waterhead?!?! There is simply no justification for incurring such suffocating levels of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt. The U.S. lawyer job market is GLUTTED and shrinking. Plus, businesses and firms are relying more heavily on software programs and LPOs. If you do not heed this advice, then do not complain later on, dolt. Information on the law school is easily and widely available now.

  28. you forgot to mention the folks who go for an llm and rack up even more student loan debt on top of their jd


    On January 8, 2011, David Segal delivered the most thorough kick to the law school pigs’ snouts to date - in his epic NYT piece entitled “Is Law School a Losing Game?” From his opening:

    "If there is ever a class in how to remain calm while trapped beneath $250,000 in loans, Michael Wallerstein ought to teach it.

    Michael Wallerstein, who has a law degree, has $250,000 in loans and only the occasional job as a legal temp.
    Here he is, sitting one afternoon at a restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, a tall, sandy-haired, 27-year-old radiating a kind of surfer-dude serenity. His secret, if that’s the right word, is to pretty much ignore all the calls and letters that he receives every day from the dozen or so creditors now hounding him for cash.

    “And I don’t open the e-mail alerts with my credit score,” he adds. “I can’t look at my credit score any more.”

    Mr. Wallerstein, who can’t afford to pay down interest and thus watches the outstanding loan balance grow, is in roughly the same financial hell as people who bought more home than they could afford during the real estate boom. But creditors can’t foreclose on him because he didn’t spend the money on a house.

    He spent it on a law degree. And from every angle, this now looks like a catastrophic investment.

    Well, every angle except one: the view from law schools. To judge from data that law schools collect, and which is published in the closely parsed U.S. News and World Report annual rankings, the prospects of young doctors of jurisprudence are downright rosy.

    In reality, and based on every other source of information, Mr. Wallerstein and a generation of J.D.’s face the grimmest job market in decades. Since 2008, some 15,000 attorney and legal-staff jobs at large firms have vanished, according to a Northwestern Law study. Associates have been laid off, partners nudged out the door and recruitment programs have been scaled back or eliminated."

    Anyone with an IQ above room temperature can clearly see that the U.S. lawyer job market is shrinking. Due to LPOs, outsourcing, automation, software programs, predictive coding, and other technological advances, law firms do not need to hire as many attorneys as before. Plus, Biglaw clients are going to snuff out the billable hour.

    1. "Anyone with an IQ above room temperature can clearly see that the U.S. lawyer job market is shrinking"

      That might explain why Mr. Infinity is not seeing it.

  30. Plugging the figures into this calculator tells it all. 200K in loans. Interest at 6.8%. Payback over 25 years. You need a Salary of at least 208.221 to support repayment of that debt over that length of time.

  31. Nando,

    I am the attorney who posted my story a few days ago (re: exploring exit options from the law).

    I am feeling very morose today as it is my 4 year anniversary of my divorce. On March 17, 2010 my divorce ordeal was finalized. I had been married for about 9 years to my soulmate who I met while I was in law school. She was a public relations specialist working on Park Avenue. She was beautiful (a real world 10). She had eyes that sparkled and a voice that can sooth the beast in you. I felt like a lucky dope that she ever gave me the time of day so naturally I proposed to her within months of knowing her. Perhaps that was my error. We were engaged for a few years and married after I became an attorney. We bought a house, a car and spent $50K furnishing the place on credit with Ethan Allen.

    We had a daughter, Isabella, who I now see once a month. I pay about $3,400 a month in child support and alimony. The judge who presided over my divorce punished me for my JD. She actually said that I was in a better position to pay an outrageous amount of child support/rehabilitative alimony. So how did my "fairytale" marriage dissolve? I blame myself and what the legal profession did to me.

    Before I went to law school, I was a happy go lucky fellow. I was careless, poor but happy. When I became a lawyer, I distrusted everyone, including my ex-wife. She resented the long hours my mistress (read: the law) demanded of me. Of course, she had no problem spending the money I was making but at the same time she expected me to be home at 6PM. When you are running a small practice, being home at 6PM is impractical.

    Today, my ex-wife has a paramour who she travels with. She won't marry the guy because that would mean I won't need to send her anymore rehab alimony checks. I know the guy she is screwing practically lives there. My daughter won't tell me because my ex has her mind so twisted into believing that I was the bad person in the marriage. In fact, she told my daughter that I cheated on her which is untrue.

    So today, I will continue to drown my sorrows with scotch and curse the day I decided to become a lawyer. Sorry for the rant and thanks for listening to this lost soul.

    1. your story is similar to mine and many others. Its our penalty for going to law school when it made sense. Do what I do, stop practicing.

    2. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story. I won't pretend to have any answers for you, but someday things will get better. You just have to take things one day at a time.

    3. hang in there buddy - things always get better. I know that sounds like a colloquialism, but it is not. I could tell you stories…whatever you do, don’t quit, and take it easy on the bottle, it solves NOTHING…go slow.

    4. Old Johnny hears ya.

      Drinking is the best way to blot out the reality of the hopeless and lifetime debt and disappear into the fog for a while.

      I once read that if a person drinks a six pack of beer a day or six drinks, the liver will be shot in 20 years.

  32. Really there should only be about 50 law schools in the country. That's if the professors weren't such greedy cunts.

    I remember the very first day of orientation and thinking to myself, "I wouldn't even consider hiring 95% of the assholes in here if I ever needed legal representation."

    I went to a garbage pit and some of the guys in there looked semi-retarded. I ended up banging the best looking chick in class, and she was married. In the real world, she was probably a 6. In law school, she was about a 9. (But she was hell a kinky.) I saw plenty of confident kids become self-loathing. And it happened quickly. Many of 'em turned to the bottle. You dumbshits don't need to discover this shit out on your own. We've done the research for you. Now it's up to you whether you want to be an asshole, ignore us and end up ruining your whole fucking life. The choice is yours.

    1. You sound like a class act, just the type you would expect to meet in a garbage pit. Hint...if you are unemployed maybe it really is you?

  33. Congrats Nando, another tidbit of your message has gotten out there today in Liberty Blitzkreig under the title "Law Schools Now Paying Their Graduates’ Salaries to Look Better in School Rankings"

  34. Wow, this was also covered on March 15th in THE ECONOMIST magazine (one of the most prestigious econcomics mags in the western world), under the title "The Price of Success." :)


    Outrageous Tuition: Apparently, the pigs feel that they offer an “education” on par with Harvard or Stanford. Check out the following filth:

    “Tuition and Fees

    Tuition for the 2014-15 academic year is $1,568 per unit. The tuition for full-time is based on 30 units per year (15 units per semester). Tuition for part-time is based on 21 units per year (11 units for the fall semester and 10 units for the spring semester). Fee and tuition charges for the 2014-15 academic year are:

    Full-time: $47,040 ($23,520 per semester)
    Part-time: $32,968 ($16,464 per semester)

    The student budget also known as the “cost of attendance” is comprised of required tuition and estimated expenses for the academic year (August – May).”

    Ranking: As you can see, $anTTTa Clara Univer$iTTTy Sewer of Law is rated as the 107th greatest, most amazing and wonderful law school in the entire damn country – by US “News” 7 World Report! Hell, it “only” shares this distinctive honor with the following FIVE toilets: Catholic University of America; Gonzaga; St. John’s University; Syracuse; and TTTexa$ TTTech Univer$iTTTy.

    Who the hell wouldn’t want to attend a third tier commode at such prices?!?! Good luck trying to compete with grads from Stanford, Berkeley, USC Gould and UCLA for good legal jobs, chump. Who are we kidding? You don’t have a shot in hell against those young men and women, because they went to REAL law schools.

    By the way, California has THE SECOND LARGEST ATTORNEY GLUT in the nation. Can you wrap your tiny brain around that fact, Lemming?!?! These figures were compiled by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., a consulting company that does not make any money from the law school scam.

    If Stephen Diamond knew how to read, then he would recognize that his students and graduates are royally screwed. Then, if he developed some integrity, he would punch himself in the face and jump into freeway traffic – as penance for his deliberate lies and piggish behavior.


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