Saturday, December 26, 2015

Open Letter to First Year Lemmings: Drop Out Now, If You Are Not Near the Top of Your Class After First Semester

It’s Okay to Quit: Back on May 4, 2011, former Biglaw associate Will Meyerhofer wrote a brilliant piece that was entitled “Someone likes a quitter.” Look at his excellent opening:

“No one likes a quitter,” she quipped, exhaling a cloud of toxins.

Uh…huh. Except there’s a proviso in that statement – a “carve-out” in the contract language – covering the quitting of something self-destructive. Like smoking.

Or a pointless march through law school. 

I’d like to speak in defense of quitting, and quitters. 

Quitting can be about more than stopping whatever you’re doing. It can be about waking up and asking yourself if what you’re doing makes sense and is worth continuing.

If you’re plugging away dutifully through the legal education process with no real idea why – it might be time to quit. 

Does this mean I’m seriously advising young law students all over the country to give up and drop out – simply abandon their legal education mid-way through? 


I am prescribing a mass exodus from law schools. A semi-mass exodus might do the trick. 

Tune in. Turn on. Drop out. 

If you don’t know why you’re there – and you’re not sure what you’re getting yourself into – if you’re not at a top school, or even if you are, and your grades are a little iffy, and likely to stay that way – then please, get out. Today. Before you spend another cent." [Emphasis mine]

Mr. Meyerhofer then refers to this filth as the legal education scam. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Harvard and his JD from NYU.

U.S. Department of Labor Data: If you are considering a potential legal career, then surely you are familiar with the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, correct?!?! Take a peak at the entry for Lawyers. According to this source, there were 778,800 attorneys in this country, in 2014. BLS predicts that there will be 43,800 more lawyers in 2024 than there were ten years earlier. Still want to take the plunge, Dumbass?! From the handbook:

Job Outlook

Employment of lawyers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Competition for jobs should continue to be strong because more students graduate from law school each year than there are jobs available.” [Emphasis mine]

By the way, “growth” in this GLUTTED field tends to be from retirement and deaths, as this “profession” has been decimated by automation and outsourcing. Vendors such as LegalZoom have also reduced the need for attorneys.

Too Many Damn Graduates: Review the Class of 2014 National Summary Report, furnished by NALP. You will notice that there were a total of 43,832 law grads competing for 27,928 jobs where bar passage was required. In fact, the outlook is even weaker for those who want to work in private law offices. After all, only 18,587 members of this cohort ended up employed as private lawyers. This figure includes desperate-ass sole practitioners.

Class of 2014 Bimodal Salary Distribution Curve: This organization also provided an important graph for this cohort. Look at the text below, which is under the chart:

“Note: Graph is based on 22,095 salaries reported for full-time jobs lasting a year or more. A few salaries above $205,000 are excluded from the graph for clarity, but not from the percentage calculations. The left-hand peaks of the graph reflect salaries of $40,000 to $65,000, which collectively accounted for about half of reported salaries. The right-hand peak shows that salaries of $160,000 accounted for about 17% of reported salaries. However, more complete salary coverage for jobs at large law firms heightens this peak and diminishes the left-hand peaks — and shows that the unadjusted mean overstates the average starting salary by just over 6%. Nonetheless, as both the arithmetic mean and the adjusted mean show, relatively few salaries are close to either mean. For purposes of this graph, all reported salaries were rounded to the nearest $5,000.”

By the way, this graph does not accurately reflect reality. It is based on salaries reported, which is a little over half of the collective 2014 JD class. Specifically, that figure represents 50.4% of the group, i.e. 22,095/43,832. Furthermore, it only includes full-time positions that lasted for one year or longer. Going back to the NALP National Summary Report, you will see that 1,090 grads ended up in firms of 101-250 attorneys, another 1,091 members of this class were employed in offices of 251-500 lawyers, and that 3,952 JDs reported working in law firms with more than 500 attorneys.

You can bet your ass that nearly everyone from these three groups furnished their salaries to their schools, which was consequently supplied to NALP. Tons of graduates chose not to provide their income data to their commodes, out of a sense of shame or failure. This skews the data further, in favor of those earning more. This makes the law school swine happy, since lemmings will see these numbers as proof that if they work hard they can be successful as well.

Conclusion: You are MUCH better off trying to explain a 6 month gap in employment – and taking out an additional $20K in student loans – rather than pissing away three years of your life, owing $190K in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, and scrambling for low-paid dreck. This is your life and the law school pigs are not looking out for YOUR interests. They merely want to get as many asses in seats as possible. The cockroaches will do and say anything to get you to sign on the dotted line.


  1. Or you think you can beat the odds and thousands of attorneys before you and hang your own shingle? Will you have a decent Middle Class Lifestyle, pay Obama Care at 4 bills a month and your IBR? Consider the expert Professor Paul Campos and his data: Solos=47K. You will be competing for legal jobs with my buddies and I out over two decades. We are DESPERATE solos now in the job market too. Even with appointed gub'mint work, my Schedule C has not risen above 40K for the last three years. I know lawyers better than me who are working retail to make ends meet. Nando is right. Listen to him.

    1. That's not true! That's *impossible*!!

      According to this drek, all you have to do is hang out that shingle and make a zillion, cajillion dollars!

      Anyone who can't do that is just not trying hard enough! Just get 20 clients. It's EASY!

    2. Unfortunately, a number of these kids, having been forced to solo without being ready, will end up on the "Disciplines and Suspensions" pages of your State Bar Journal, taking on cases where they have no idea what they're doing. That's the part these type guys don't talk about. Plus the other very real human cost in the instance where the client's case is now f'ed up too. Gotta love these "just go out and wing it" types. LOL.

  2. And how low will the salaries go? Well, here's some anecdotal evidence. A lawyer colleague recently gave up on law completely and now works for his dad's UPS store. He'd gone to a TT school and done ok, and right out of law school got a job with a small insurance defense firm. The work was a grind, but the pay was ok. That was ten years ago; in the decade since, he's worked for three additional small insurance defense firms-laid off each time, as his salary shrank while his hours increased-why? Well, it's a buyer's market. The insurance companies annually contract with small firms. The firms bid for these contracts, with the lowest bidder winning(or losing). So the pay is getting less and less as firms undercut each other to get the contract, as there are many, many small firms which want this business-or any business, actually. So his actual pay(not adjusted for inflation) dropped every year as the contract awards shrank, and his hours increased as the small firms, which used to hire new associates when a contract was obtained(please note these associates would be fired a year later if the contract was lost) but no longer do and just grind the existing associates. And no, he was never on a partner track, as he last about 2.5 years at each firm. So he quit to work an honest job, where he hopes to "grow" the business.
    So that's the reality and the glamour of small law. If you're in a TT or lower, get out NOW.

    1. So, here is the flip side. You think you can do PI plaintiffs work and make a practice out of it? What happens is exactly what 9:25 posts. State Farm, Direct Auto, Safeway, GEICO all deny claims or will settle for short money. Why? Because they found desperate defense firms in this Walmart priced, crazy over saturated legal market that will provide a cheap defense. Settling for the cost of defense is no longer a viable income source nor a realistic threat to State Farm.

    2. ^This. These insurers now are fighting to the death over claims which would likely have settled out in the not-too-distant past.

    3. Well, the FLSA has finally decided to start putting in some changes on "professional" exemptions, probably a dozen or so years too late and probably still too weak.

      But you'll see the bottom at minimum wage.

      That's right, a fry cook will make as much as a lawyer. Minimum wage is set to be what, $15/hr? Doc review is hitting that.

      So when people talk out their ass about going to college or being stuck as a burger flipper, well, now the only difference is the burger flipper at least doesn't have mortgage debt and hasn't wasted over half a dozen years of the best years of their life going into that debt for the same pay.

      The only way it can get lower once it hits minimum wage levels is if slavery is re-instituted LOL.

    4. I keep trying to tell people this and they continue to go Full Retard.

      Campos talked about the value of a law degree being consumed because of high tuition - which in 99% of cases means debt.

      Take that back a step to college. The colleges are, I've seen YouTube videos on it, doing the same things as the law schools. Everything has this gold-plated touch to make it seem like a 4-year vacation for the students. Fine. Except that "vacation" as they usually do, is overpriced and all you have at the end are expensive memories.

      I'm sure the dolt who posts on here about broadening the mind and the usual brilliant "what else can they do for 3 years.." will pipe up..

      My answer: At multi-hundreds of thousands in debt - non-dischargeable debt - ANYTHING.

      Anything else that doesn't suck away those 7 prime years of your life, spending money you don't have but will be on the hook for the next 30 until retirement and beyond.. Anything.

      I think the Age of Education is, and always was, a lie for the 99%. What I see is the veneer has come off and you see it for what it is: You have connections, you'll do well for life (somebody that somebody sent) otherwise, you're part of the 99% to be financially used.

      "So when people talk out their ass about going to college or being stuck as a burger flipper, well, now the only difference is the burger flipper at least doesn't have mortgage debt and hasn't wasted over half a dozen years of the best years of their life going into that debt for the same pay."


      College works out if you go free. Period. Even then, unconnected, you've lost 4 years. I was debt-free after undergrad in a non-soft major and hit every economic downturn along the way so nothing worked out.

      For all my effort and time, I may as well have slept 20 hours a day and played video games. I finally Beat the System but it took me years to do it.

  3. Oh, by the way, if you go to the Faculty Lounge Blog for "Law Schools and culture," the professors and deans are squealing like stuck hogs when I post the personal musings of a hurting and angry Solo lawyer living a Lower Middle Class lifestyle. I sacrificed and obtain an education just like I was instructed to do. I can't chase 3 Bill DUIs to pay for my 4 Bill Bronze Level Obama Care Plan. Look at you classmates in your crowded lecture halls and then pull open the Yellow Pages of any City, Town, Hamlet, Burg and flip to the attorney section.....I rest my case.

  4. A somewhat hopeful sign as NW's 2 year program closes, making it clear that this is a bottom-feeder law school idea(although the good Dean Rodriguez supplies his usual inane quotes):

    although the key language is:
    "The degree in a truncated time frame typically costs the same as the three-year version." So no benefit to students, big but phoney marketing benifit to the TTTs still offering it.

    1. Just reading that tripe makes me mad.

      Fucking employers want the Moon and the Stars: We want lawyers who can "hit the ground running". I have news for these bullshit employers, probably loaded with Boomers: No one knows how to practice law fresh out of law school. It's not designed for that and never will be. The vast majority of the faculty have never practiced law. Many went from being professional students to professional academics seamlessly. I'd imagine the Lefty Hackademics at HYS would cringe if they actually had to (gasp!) practice law for a living vs. having their schools pay them handsomely for (cough!) teaching.

      The schools can never teach practice-ready lawyers. It's impossible let alone the programs aren't set up for that and the professors don't have the skills save, perhaps, some adjuncts.

      Everybody wants $1 million dollars of skills and effort on the part of the students - but no one wants to pay for it.

      If you don't land a job fresh out of law school within a year, odds are you never will. Beyond that, it takes about 2 years to develop a degree of expertise in an area of law.

      Load of crap..

      Save yourself the burden of being a Professional Student in this day and age because you'll find out that even if you can overcome the initial hurdle of getting a job, no one wants to train you let alone pay well in a field where there is simply downward pressure on everything and downward mobility for 99%.

  5. @Nando -- you forget to mention the role insurance companies are playing in decimating the profession. THIS, frankly, is the most significant factor.

    For example, if you defended doctors in medical malpractice litigation, it wasn't the actual doctor paying your bills. Rather, an insurance company like MLMIC (that had deep pockets) was paying the bills. As a result, the incentive was to bill and bill said insurance company for whatever meaningless task you did. Hence, billing a .2 for a two-line "memos," or a .1 for carrying the file from the file room to your desk (as "travelling for conference").

    This setup/abuse encouraged firms to hire thousands of lemmings to do mindless grunt work that any secretary with an associate's degree could do. A lot of partners became very rich, and law schools also profited by keeping the supply of future associates high.

    When times started getting tough (by about 2006 to 2008), the insurance companies wised up. They started refusing to pay bills, thereby forcing firms to lay off workers.

    Today, with the scam exposed, firms no longer need so many associates. Thus, jobs for new lawyers are gone.

  6. The scamblogs have been warning the kids for a while now on the dangers of The Law School Scam. And thank goodness. Some would-be lemmings have been saved; most cannot and will not be.

    Nonetheless, a valuable service is rendered: the information is put out there. What remains is the necessity of breaking the vicious cycle produced by the uniquely American drive, the overwhelming expectation, to "not be a quitter".

    In today's flooded, glutted law market, each 1L must (unless connected or independently wealthy) make an honest self evaluation at the end of the first term, and truly evaluate whether the grades are there as would warrant continuing.

    Too many kids still do the "Law School Death March" after mediocre, or worse, 1L grades has already doomed them to ignominy.

  7. You idiot lemmings just had to give it a whirl - you had to try for your dreams of being a lawyer. Your grades will be out soon, and with them your class ranks. The bottom half of the class doesn't get to achieve their dreams of saving the orphans/dolphins/third world or earning a fortune. You gave it a shot. Now, it is time to cut your losses and go live a respectable, adult life.

  8. I drive a fucking bus.

    And I have a JD.

    Keep telling the truth on these shitty law schools. You're doing a public service here.

    1. This is a great networking or hustling opportunity to pick up mope clients with legal problems. If you drive a Mega Bus or Greyhoud, you passengers typically have personality disorders, substance abuse issues and prone to legal problems. Start handing out your card and build a practice.... I have picked up clients in the oddest of places....this could be a great opportunity....

    2. Yes, but please be aware of your State's ethical canons about soliciting clients--where, when and how; also client confidentiality concerns! Beware all ye who have no brick and mortar bona fide office!

    3. Debt aside, you're probably making more money than most lawyers.

    4. Also, you are putting your bus driving occupation in jeopardy. I'm not being sarcastic but transit positions can pay well. Happy New Year to all!

    5. Now there's a great way to use your JD-- driving a bus. Hell, you could even combine the skills and work driving a 'Law School Bus' to take kids to law school. That would be the short bus.

  9. People always ask what else they can do instead.

    Well it's better to figure that out 3 years earlier and without $190k in debt. The JD only closes off opportunities, it is not an asset in any way, shape or form.

    Truthfully college in the US is a waste too. The smartest people save 7 years. The average people at least save the 3. And the dumbest waste all 7 and are still unemployable.

    1. In thirty years, the bachelor's degree has gone from golden ticket to toilet paper.

    2. And yet our antediluvian attitudes and policies concerning education lead more lambs to the slaughter. How responsible, isn't it?

  10. Now some will ask (usually in a trolling fashion, and not earnestly)what makes The Law School Scam more of a scam than, say, getting a useless graduate degree in some other subject. The difference is that the personal who goes for an MFA will not be affirmatively raked over the coals and punished for being "overqualified" when they interview for that job selling cars. Probably not anyway. No one hates someone with a Master's in Music or whatever.

    The JD, on the other hand, interviewing in non-law, will be mercilessly questioned and scorned for not engaging in the "lucrative" practice of law, which, in the eyes of most civilians (non-jlawyers) is stil a license to print money. LOL. For being a "quitter" or at least of failing at law, and thus being a Loser.

    That's why law is a scam and the others are not--it's the only degree that is actually reviled outside its field.

    1. I did free legal work for a politically connected guy. After a couple of years, I asked him if he could help me get a law job. He flat out told me, "Ain't all you lawyers rich? I saw an armored car and I thought it was stopping at your house." He took advantage of me...

    2. Also, the useless master's degree usually doesn't cost a quarter of a million bucks.

      And that useless master's degree may prove not to be useless after all: now and then it may be just the thing for an unusual job. Not so the JD.

  11. I have been following the scamblogs for 8 years and I don't think I have seen as much truth as this post and the comments that have followed.

    1Ls need to get the heck out while they can. Generally speaking, you should know if you are in the top 5% before you can get a spring 1L tuition refund. If you are not going to HYS and you are not in the top 5% you need to drop out NOW.

    "Winners never quit" is a line that has been force-fed to you by your Boomer parents and has precisely zero relevance today. Look at the numbers, 1Ls. If you are not on the right side of that 5% line, your legal education will not be worth the sacrifice. That student debt will haunt you to your grave and make your future fraught with anxiety and depression.

    I wish I had dropped out in the spring of my 1L year: to my lasting regret I didn't and have foregone at least $500,000. I will write a post adressing this in much more
    detail in a week or so on OTLSS. In the meantime, this is an excellent intro by

    1. "Winners never quit"

      A cretinous line which mistakes moralizing for economic wisdom. Quitting is a crucial part of dealing with the economy. Hammering away at trying to get a job in a glutted part of the economy is STUPID. Find something which people need to have done, which requires some skill, and which not many businesses are doing. There's the money.

    2. If the gub'mint would start hiring again the legal market wouldn't be glutted. We bash the government at our own peril...STARVE the BEAST...

    3. The lines you should actually remember are

      "You gotta know when to hold'em, know when to fold'em know when to walk away and know when to run.
      And you never count your money while you're sitting at a table, there'll be time enough for counting when the dealing's done."

    4. ^This.^ The law school game is a gamble, a true gamble and the real winners in the world of gambling know when it's time to walk away! That's what makes law different from the other professions.

    5. The government has hired plenty.

      It just doesn't want to hire JDs anymore. It did at one point, maybe up to 10-15 years ago. But that time has long passed.

      Now the government just hires college grads for those same positions, and considers JDs "overqualified" or puts intense scrutiny to hire one.

    6. "If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There’s no use being a damn fool about it."

      - attributed to W.C. Fields


    Back on May 11, 2015, at 5:27 pm, someone using handle “jakebaugh” posted an original JDU thread that was labeled “Should I drop out?” He noted that he was paying ¾ tuition at Georgetown Univer$ity Law Cesspool, is in the evening program, and earned a 2.99 GPA his first year. Look at the responses below:
    “municipald1 (May 11, 2015 - 6:30 pm)

    Dude, that's tough.

    The unwritten rule is that below median T14 is a bad place to be. I had a similar experience 15 years ago in a midwestern T14. The bottom third did not get gigs from OCI. No one cared about their work experience. Also, clerkships were out of the question. T14 helps, but only the top 40-50% (depending on the market).”

    tobeornottobe (May 11, 2015 - 9:36 pm)

    You should drop out. In fact, you never should have started. You bit off far more than you can chew in the hopes of having some dream life. Now you're putting the life you have in jeopardy. My guess is that you'd be doing better at your job if you didn't have to study all the time. You probably also have no social life. The time and money you have spent are now sunk costs. But don't throw good money after bad. You are in a hole. The first thing to do to get out is to stop digging. Stop looking for your dream job. You have a good job. Work hard at that and advance in that career. Don't make the perfect the enemy of the good.

    heythere (May 11, 2015 - 9:47 pm)

    Drop out.

    "From my previous experience on wall st, I have contacts at several large firms but have been hesitant to reach out because of my gpa. I ask the forum, would you stay and finish the program (Georgetown is a top 14 at the end of the day) or would you drop out?"

    Change the job specific references to engineering and that was me 10+ yrs ago - part time student, good and solid GPA. Contacts before LS are meaningless to most law firms because they can't judge the value of them. And they may be right. The contacts are not a reason to hire you. I literally have a 500+ business cards collected in the last 12 months; about 7 have generated meaningful long term business.

    "Would excellent work experience make up for a bad gpa?" No. For finance, you need biglaw and luck.


    Do you still want to sign on the dotted line, lemming?! Keep in mind that this guy supposedly attended a first tier diploma mill. Imagine your odds, when you are enrolled in a third tier commode or fourth tier trash can. In the end, YOU have to look out for your best interests. Do not expect the law school pigs to perform that task. Hell, they merely want your borrowed money – and they don’t give a damn what happens to you upon graduation.

  13. It's finally getting through to people, and not just about law school, but about college. During Christmas, my brother and cousin told me that they may not send their kids to college. My brother told me " dude, you graduated top of your class in Computer science and law, and we hardly see you; and you and your wife cAnt afford a house. I make 135k on the force and I'm retiring in five years, and you, with all that education are working like a dog for peanuts. And the crazy shit is that younger kids graduating are doing even worse!!! I thought you were bullshiting or were a fuck up, but I guess I lucked out not listening to mom and dad!!!"

    The smile on my face, ear to fucking ear. My nephews are safe, either they go to Harvard or they take the civil servant tests, it's that simple.

    As for this thread, I have long wondered why people don't drop out after 1L. I didn't because 1)it was close to free, 2) I was in the top five percent and 3) I bought the patent law lie. Law school hurt me, but it didn't destroy me (yet). All my buddies in comp sci and engineering make more, even though I wouldn't recommend that versus a civil service job, but I still earn a living. Yet, with ten years of experience, top grades in law school and undergrad (STEM), I barely crack
    100k with no exit options and no job security. What will you do lemming? Drop out unless your parents are rich or you have an incredible background (and incredible means just that: incredible).

    1. Seconded on the barely cracking $100k with STEM undergrad and grad, plus prior work experience. I bought the lies too, and as a Gen-Xer you would think I would have been much more cynical prior about education.

      Millenial lemmings, try something else. Anything. It will at least be cheaper that law school, except for a couple of other cases.

    2. Fu^k law school, but I couldn't disagree more about your dumping on higher education. I am sending my daughters to State Universities and I think its a pretty damn good deal. Tuition is reasonable, the most expensive cost of attendance is room and board, but they have to eat, they have to live somewhere anyway.

      Do I think they will get jobs out of the deal? Maybe . . Maybe not. But they will be far ahead of those without a college degree and more importantly, they are learning to live on their own and are learning to expand their minds rather that wasting away in a mind numbing dead end job somewhere.

      The way I see it, I owed them this step up on life. Hopefully they will make the best of their opportunities. But even if they don't . . no regrets on my end in providing it for them. I am much happier where they are than watching them slave away at some retail job . . and no . . I would not be happy with their being "sanitation engineers" even if they made good money. I would rather they be the office supervisors of those people someday.

      As for Law School, my nephew graduated with close to 300K in debt, after interest added in. He is making maybe 50K per year working a PI firm. So far, best I can tell, he loves it. And his payment under IBR is virtually nothing.

    3. @ 3:40PM. You're sending your daughters to State U. Good. You should do so. You should also make sure that they are taking classes that have hard skills attached to them: Accounting, IT, Calculus, Intro to Culinary Arts, foreign language. These are "How To" classes. Don't let them major in history, sociology, psychology, women's studies, or any other area where you learn a lot of "what" and no "how to" at all. You are from a different generation, from a time when ANY BA was a step up; please understand that things are different now. The typical, skills-free liberal arts degree is now High School Diploma 2.0, and it is practically worthless. I am not picking a fight, I am not trying to insult. I just beg you to look closely at the situation.

    4. 3:40: is probably a law school scammer. Keeps posting this same nonsense over and over again.

      "College is great, everyone that goes to college becomes a supervisor in an office!"

      "Ignore the debt, making $50k with $300k debt is a-ok with IBR!"

      Give me a break.

    5. Yes, and under IBR in a mere 20 to 25 years, his debt will be forgiven(assuming Congress doesn't change the rules, as they are wont to do).
      So what a deal....go through life without a car payment or a mortgage payment...because no one will lend him the $$$ for a car or a house because his debt is too large.
      Smart move, law school.
      And regarding college, here's to your kids being able to use their college degrees. The problem today is that our country is awash in kids with useless bachelor's degrees who end up working retail anyway because they're not qualified to do anything else.
      And all hones work is honorable-be it with the city's sanitation department or the highway crew. Having a college degree does not guarantee that one will become the office supervisor; more often than not the supervisors are those who best understand the assigned work.

    6. I'm happy to hear your nephew likes what he does. That's important and I mean that. Just don't tell him he could probably be making more (and also maybe even liking what he does!) without having gone to law school.

      And without the debt.

    7. Useless liberal arts degrees my ass.

      I have a STEM degree and it didn't help me any. Law schools are awash with people that tried to fix their useless STEM with a JD for patent law.

      It works out for a few, not for most.

      The best degrees are accounting and finance, which are not STEM. Ironically Math, which is far more intensive than either accounting or finance, does not pay nearly as well as either.

      But probably going into either of those isn't a good bet either for most. Can't just look only at the winners and claim that's the ticket.

      I hear nurses and pharmacists are now completely glutted as well.

    8. STEM is almost always not worth it. Aside from STEM fields being glutted, salaries have remained stagnant since the late 1990s. Also, you're competing with foreigners with H-1B visas (aka. imported "slave" labor).

      STEM is only worth it if you're a certain type of engineer, or you go into medicine or dentistry (or maybe a vet school). But these fields are hard to get into, so there is no guarantee you'll make it.

      Thus, in short, it's either Harvard or the trades.

    9. Unfortunately it is indeed the case that the nation is awash in useless bachelor's degrees. The coin was cheapened long ago, and now any employer is empowered to use the degree as a filter for whatever low-level job he may have that would have been strictly OJT for some high school grad in the '70's.

      Still, it cracks me up that a lot of people still scoff at ascended blue collar work, the skilled trades, when many of these people out-earn those with college backgrounds. This is not to say getting into the trades is easy to do, by no means. Simply that earning a decent living is what it's about. Screw "prestige". The kids will be a lot better off when they finally stop listening to the Boomers.

    10. @11:36,

      Slight edit: "Thus, in short, it's either Harvard or the trades [or blue collar municipal employment for a large city]"

      Otherwise, 11:36 fucking nailed it.

    11. It is truly sad. STEM used to be worth it - it trained you to think analytically (more than law school) and it stood to get you involved in some interesting if not cutting-edge work. Even plant management had its "product design" moments.

      Now, everything is being undercut by the H-1B slave labor. The candle is being burnt at both ends, leaving recent graduates in the middle with an ever-decreasing share.

    12. So true about STEM not being worth it, and it needs to be shouted from the rooftops. I thought I was so smart getting a degree in Physics and my employment prospects would be looking good for it. When I start sending out job applications, I quickly learn that nobody is interested in the degree.

      The worst part is the use of the moniker "STEM", suggesting it's all equal. It's really not. Someone in computer science or engineering has far better employment prospects than someone in math or physics.

      In terms of closing doors, the latter degrees are almost as bad as a JD. Nobody wants to hire you for having them, but they will browbeat you about how you should be working in a national lab and not wasting your time with their humble shop. I had years of admin experience, but that all meant nothing once I got the Bachelor's. In the end I got a well-paying job...through connections I had been fortunate enough to develop in college. The degree did literally no good for me.

    13. 4:01 PM 12-28:

      Here's a shout out to Mr. Aample and his college schtick.

      Hot off the Presses:

      If you are the Du Jour discrimination target - a while male - you'll wind up like Mr. Aample's nephew: A Nobody that Nobody sent.

    14. @11:47 -- exactly !! And people wonder why Donald Trump is having the effect he's having.

      Non-Americans staying in the US after college is only going to drive down the wages of college graduates, AND make it harder for Americans to find jobs.

      I has shocked to hear that 1/3 people sitting for the NY bar exam this past July were graduates of foreign law schools. In other words, they probably took a quick LLM, and then sat for the bar.

      My understanding is that the "big" firms want foreigners in order to build their business overseas. For example, they hire Chinese lawyers to ultimately send-over to China, or to process things sent here from China.

      Crickets from the ABA.

  14. Taking on $100K in student loans is only worth it if you are landing biglaw. Even then you need to plan on paying off your student loans in about 5 years before you get the axe. Taking on $100K in student loans to be a shitlawyer or going back to your old job is retarded. I know one dumb cocksucker who went to a toilet and then made sandwiches for a living after he got his shitty diploma.

  15. Calvin Coolidge was the 30th President of the United States. Prior to that, he was Vice-President, Governor of Massachusetts, President of the State Senate, Mayor of Northampton, City Councilman, City Solicitor, County Court Clerk, and transactional lawyer, having earned a BA from Amherst College. He never set foot in law school, and never borrowed a dime. He learned to be a lawyer by clerking in a law firm.

    Compare that to today's idiot lemmings lining up to borrow 150,000 in non-dischargeable debt so they can live out their fantasies of being Jedi Knights of Social Justice for three years, and then end up serving cocktails at hotel bars near you. GET OUT NOW!

    1. That scenario is not exclusive to newbies. I am a solo out over two decades and work a weekend job to make ends meet. One of my law buddies out over twenty years works retail. Another buddy who graduated from a Tier 1 School 30 years ago is answering Craig's list ads.

    2. And they laughed at me for staying in my government law jobs? Pension office is calling. Gotta run.

  16. The real world arguments of scam schools:

    And USC scamming:

    A truthful presentation to these students would be:
    "USC Law professors do not succumb to bias of any type. Regardless of gender, color, creed, sexual orientation, place of national origin, you're all the same: the professors detest you. At best you are a necessary evil, as you bring in loan $$$ to allow these professors to enjoy a cushy lifestyle and not sully themselves by practicing law. We at USC Law will be concerned with you so long as the loan dollars flow, and once you graduate, we never want to hear from you again unless it's to make a donation to the school. Since we've taught you to "think like a lawyer" and you'll be getting that incredibly "versatile" JD, you are on your own and good luck paying back the nearly 200K in loans."
    These first generation students instead ought to be sent to the ABA's own inflated stats for USC: out of a class of 217, 33 of your fellow students-15%-are listed as "employed"in jobs at the law school. These jobs are created for one purpose only: to artificially inflate USC's employment stats.
    So please take Nando's advice: if you're a 1L at USC, take a hard look at where you're at in the class. If you're not in the top, get out, NOW. Otherwise, only misery and heartache follow.

    1. USC is a fourth-tier toilet. It's at the top of the fourth tier, but it's fourth-tier nonetheless.

  17. You probably shouldn't have enrolled in the first place, and this is your chance to walk away before you completely ruin your life. I can't emphasize enough that there's no shame in folding a losing hand. And pay close attention to these words from actual practicing attorneys: The odds of you making a living in law continue to plummet with every year's class.

  18. The K-JD lemmings believe they are making a wise investment attending law school. This investment will put them into the upper-middle class with the smart people. But smart businesspeople are different from the lemmings - they know when to give up. These folks ditch an investment once they see it's not worth it anymore. Why throw more good money after bad? Nope, they acknowledge the sunk cost and move on. Lemmings stay; they think somehow things will just work out. Maybe they won't get the brass ring of biglaw right out of school but they'll get a respectable job somewhere and work their way up. Someone, somewhere will take a chance on their top 150 JD and membership on the Scuba Diving Law Journal.

    1. A lot are reasonably intelligent.

      Anyone that scores 165+ on the LSAT or otherwise is showing good metrics is intelligent.

      You need to talk to the average person. I think many on here forget how dumb the average person is. They see how much money the average person makes and just assumes law grads are dumb because they don't make much.

      But the real issue is informational discrepancy and a lifetime of manipulation/brainwashing about higher education.

      It is parents' and elders' jobs to guide the young, not for the young to see through the lies society is attacking them with.

      The fault isn't with the victims. It sort of is going forward because scam bloggers exposed it, but the true criminals are still the politicians, the teachers, the professors, the parents and everyone else that keeps lying about outcomes and keeps pressuring everyone into school for their own financial gain or egos.

      Law has all these rules on client interaction, protecting the clients. Well, those rules need to be applied to all higher education schools, politicians, primary schooling and lenders as well. You can't on one hand demand authority and respect for your position, then turn around and laugh at people believing you when you cheat them.

      It's obvious fraud took place and people have been lying. For some reason it's okay for everyone to just pretend afterwards that everything is on the up and up and they did nothing "technically" wrong. It's not that hard to spot a liar and abusive tactics. People aren't that stupid, they're just intentionally letting it go and pretending otherwise.

    2. "It is parents' and elders' jobs to guide the young, not for the young to see through the lies society is attacking them with."

      Well said. The law-school-scam movement, in a nutshell. Don't blame the victim, give the pre-victim actual information they can use.

    3. Excellent Post!

  19. And keep in mind that classes are NOT taught by people who have any real experience being lawyers and know what it's like out there. Think about that for just a second.

    1. And the people who run law schools have never wanted to even be lawyers. Think about that for a second or a few minutes.

  20. On a side note, one of the all time greats of rock and roll has passed on to the ages. :(


    Back on May 9, 2014, Maya Itah posted a Tipping the Scales entry that was entitled “The Case For Dropping Out Of Law School.” Look at the portion below:

    “Two weeks into studying for the California bar exam, Allison Mick decided she wasn’t going to become a lawyer after all. It was 2012, and at that point, the 27-year-old had failed more than a couple of classes at Northeastern University School of Law but still managed to graduate. “I guess I’ll do this and be a bad lawyer—I don’t care,” she remembers thinking.

    But the mere act of studying for the bar was so thoroughly depressing that she decided to just stop and walk away from it all. Did she really want to work on this stuff for 12 hours a day, just to make money to pay back her loans? Mick didn’t think so. In fact, she wished she’d just dropped out as soon as she figured out that for her, studying law was the equivalent of watching paint dry.

    In America, the general consensus is that no one likes a quitter. Mick says that feeling was largely responsible for keeping her in law school. But while the advice to keep pushing through is rational in the context of, say, a long hike, it rarely makes sense when applied to a degree that costs three years and tens of thousands of dollars.

    So, before investing in a JD, it makes sense to think deeply about whether you’re built for the legal world. Nevertheless, many people still go to law school without any intention of becoming lawyers. In a Kaplan Test Prep survey of pre-law students conducted last year, 43% of respondents said they planned on pursuing jobs in the business world. Many people still see the JD as a flexible option for liberal arts majors.

    The problem is, a JD isn’t something you can just casually try out. It’s hard to get yourself to quit once you’ve already started. Dash Kwiatkowski, a UC-Berkeley Law graduate, would know. “Having extra degrees never stopped anyone from anything, but it was a pretty awful experience,” the 24-year-old says. Though he forced himself to push through and finished in 2012, he concluded early on that there’s a certain kind of person who enjoys legal work, and if you aren’t cut from that cloth, there’s really nothing worse than actually pursuing a career in the field.

    A lot of non-lawyers with JDs are understandably bitter about their law school experiences. Mick calls it the most expensive mistake of her life.”

    If you feel that your family or friends will judge you for dropping out of law school, remember that this is YOUR life. In the end, YOU will be the one stuck with large amounts of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt, not them. Tell them that if they feel that strongly about it, then they should enroll in law school. With current admi$$ion$ “standards,” they should be able to get into several commodes with a 144 LSAT score. Then walk away.

  22. All this One-L talk about “Should I quit?” is pointless. The profession quit you. You just haven’t recognized it yet. It’s like you asking, “Should I become a Conscientious Objector and avoid being drafted to fight the Spanish-American War?”

    Unless you’re going to school for school’s sake, there’s little point in doing it because there’s nothing at the other end. You’re on a treadmill to oblivion. The law thing quit you. By all means, send a confirming email to your school withdrawing. Tell your parents the law quit you.

  23. I am trying to drop out of law school at the moment. My grades aren't too stellar. I am paying full tuition at a "top 30" law school.

    I said to myself and my family that I was going to take a gamble this first semester and see if I could beat the curve so I could transfer into a higher ranking school. Unfortunately I did not and ended up with no A's and a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 where one of my main substantive classes is below that.

    I come home for the holidays and tell my parents that I did not manage to break into the top 5% this semester and will be dropping out and do my second bachelors in mechanical engineering (which I originally started but switched for other reasons).

    My parents want me to stay because they say "well you don't know that you won't get a job after you graduate. You might still improve." Yeah, sure I might improve but so will the other people who still in the top 5% right now.

    My parents don't realize that grades mean almost everything and banking on a job based off "connections" is unbelievably risky and foolish also. I have the "old-school" Asian parents who are both doctors and they believe prestige is everything and will end up in a JD required job. However, I know this is far from the truth.

    I even had a lawyer-friend who graduated from NYU law who ranked top 10% of his class and got a clerkship twice advising me before law school started that I should drop out if I don't make it to the top 25% of the class. He graduated in the early 2000's so he knows of the epidemic law students have getting a job afterwards.

    Right now, I have a hard time conveying to my parents this is right route to take. Prestige means jack in 2016 and the law job market does not look to be getting better anytime seem.

    I just hope I am making the right decision by dropping out. To me, personally, I see no point in continuing based off of my grades and I don't think I'll get a job that will pay off the nearly 30k per semester I spend staying in law school.

  24. Encourage people to quit striving for something because they feel it is too grueling in the midst of it is terrible advice. I don’t mind the disgruntled lawyers (who had the opportunity I did not have as young man given my circumstance after completing and undergraduate degree in electrical engineering some 25 years ago ) whining. However, I do mind the blanket presumption they incessantly broadcast.

    I have worked as an electrical engineer for over 25 years and have detested every moment of it, talk about soul sucking. Apparently, I am not alone:, But, I do not presume electrical engineering is wrong for everybody, disseminate my discontent and pass it off as some sort of public service.


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