Sunday, May 1, 2016

Recent Law Grads in Texas Facing Big Heaps of Unemployment and Underemployment

TTTT Job Prospects: On April 22, 2016, the Dallas Morning News featured an article from Natalie Posgate, with the headline “Nearly one-fourth of Texas law grads are unemployed or underemployed.” The piece was in the Business section. Take a look at this opening:

“Just a decade ago, earning a law degree was the sure fire way to a guaranteed job and a six-figure income. Not so much anymore. 

Despite paying as much as $200,000 for their legal education, nearly one-fourth of the 2,072 Texas law school graduates of 2015 are unemployed or underemployed, according to new data compiled by The Texas Lawbook. 

Statistics show that less than two-thirds of law school graduates in Texas from 2015 have full-time jobs as lawyers 10 months after graduating. About 12 percent of graduates are employed full-time in non-lawyer professional positions. 

More than 13 percent of newly minted Texas lawyers are unemployed, which is actually worse than in 2010 — the year the Great Recession hit the Texas legal industry the hardest — when 9 percent of Texas law school graduates could not find a job after graduation. 

Three percent of 2015 law graduates are stuck working part-time jobs — some of them having nothing to do with law at all, according to data just made public by the nine law schools in the state.” [Emphasis mine]

Still want to go to law school, Dumbass?!?! After looking at the numbers for several commodes in the state, the author then provides the following information:

“Recent data indicates that the demand for legal services has remained flat since the end of the Great Recession. 

The number of full-time practicing lawyers in Texas increased by less than 3,500 during the past four years — from 37,600 in 2012 to 41,000 now, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Yet, the nine Texas law schools — 10 once the University of North Texas College of Law graduates its first class next year — continue to pump out more than 2,000 new lawyers annually. This is despite the fact that most law schools have shrunk their incoming classes over the past few years. 

“It took Texas longer to feel the recession in legal jobs than the rest of the nation,” said Faye Bracey, the assistant dean for career services at St. Mary’s University School of Law. “With the recent downturn in the oil and gas industry and the increase in attorneys who moved to Texas when the rest of the nation was experiencing high unemployment, the job market in Texas has become tighter.” 

The three-year legal education costs at the nine law schools range from $37,000 to $71,000 annually.  

On the upside, BLS reports that the median annual salary for practicing lawyers in Texas is $137,000.” [Emphasis mine]

This story was solid, until the reporter cited to Bureau of Labor Statistics data that purports a median annual salary of $137,000 for attorneys. Nice way to patch things together. Of course, she also quoted several $elf-intere$ted law school pigs – without talking to a single critic. Hell, I put more thought and research into each blog entry than this chick did on a major news article.

Other Coverage: On April 25, 2016, Paul Caron discussed the Posgate piece in a TaxProf blog entry labeled “Nearly One-Fourth Of Texas Law School Grads Are Unemployed Or Uunderemployed.” Scroll down to the comments, for the following remarks:

On April 26, 2016 12:22:17 am, user “Lonnie” wrote this gem:

“That 25% must not know about their million dollar JD premium, right?”

Matthew Bruckner, assistant “professor of law” and balding ape at Howard Univer$iTTTTy Sewer of Law, posted this nonsense on April 26, 2016 at 6:13:56 am:

“It's not clear to me that the 12% who are "employed full-time in non-lawyer professional positions" would prefer to be lawyers but cannot find a good legal job. I have a lot of friends who never practiced law. Anecdotes aren't data, but I think more granular information on these folks might be helpful.”

People attend professional school in order to enter a secure career in the field of their choice, Bitch. Those who get into medical school have every intention of becoming physicians, students bust their ass to get into veterinary school so that they can practice veterinary medicine, and men and women go to dental school to become dentists or orthodontists. Those who enter law school want to become – wait for it, since it might shock you – lawyers! No one with an IQ above 90 willingly goes through seven years of post-secondary “education” – while incurring ridiculous sums of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt – so that they can do work that does not require a supposed “professional” degree! Do…you…understand…that, cockroach – or do I need to draw you a diagram with Crayola on posterboard?!?!

Conclusion: There are nowhere near enough lawyer jobs for the amount of JDs pumped out each year. Back in 2008 and 2009, “unperson” from the now defunt Exposing the Law School Scam blog was highlighting the attorney GLUT in Texas. The current story is certainly not news to anyone who has graduated from law school, in the last decade. The fact that the ass-hats in the Texas $tate Legi$lature opened a law school at garbage pit UNT speaks volumes, i.e. they also DO NOT GIVE ONE GODDAMN about potential law students/financial rape victims or taxpayers. The University of North Texas has no real name recognition outside of the state. Hell, within the region it is seen as a dung pit. Now, imagine the stench of a law school attached to such a corroded in$TTTiTTTuTTTion. Good luck trying to land decent employment, with a law degree from this rancid excrement pile.


  1. Texas is overproducing JDs by roughly 25% as a whole. Even assuming that Bruckner's point is correct (and it may be on the margins with, e.g., JD/MBA grads who go into business) and some people go to law school because they've been duped into believing legal academics are good teachers, rather than faux intelligencia, nobody goes to law school with the intention of being unemployed after 3 years of law school.

    Perhaps the best-placing school in the state should be a baseline for what good employment numbers are. Baylor placed roughly almost 90% of grads into jobs where the JD was either useful or required (these are lenient definitions; part-time/sort-term and solo jobs qualify). After all, just because a grad doesn't take a job, that doesn't mean that a job hadn't been offered.

    But the worst "schools" in the state are nowhere close to that 90% (again, big caveat on the standards for that %).

    The overproduction is most clear at Texas Southern. For the C/O 2015, 147 lemmings collected their diploma mill's stamp of completion. However, its placement numbers are absolutely dreadful. By the most lenient definition of "worth it," T$U was not worth it for OVER HALF of graduates.

    Self-selection doesn't account for OVER 50% of a class fighting over the employment scraps, grasping at straws to keep Sallie Mae from calling.

    There are some other perplexing details to T$U's report. If I didn't know any better, this would appear to be a HBCU cooking the books so those student loans keep coming in (i.e. Uncle Toms financially fucking minority students while blaming the legal sector for not buying what employers doesn't want in the first place).

    9% go solo at T$U? The national average is around 2%; I call BULLSHIT. 7% are unemployed-not seeking at T$U? The national average is around 1%; I call BULLSHIT.

    Recognizing that the "no seeking" is a sham number, and that "solo" is likely anyone who passed the bar but could not find a job, that leaves overall unemployment for TSU at 38%. The national figure is well under 10%, (depending on how much the BLS cooks the books on labor force participation). Thus, a T$U grad is FOUR TIMES more likely to be unemployed than had they not attended law school in the first place. This 38% is larger than the number who get real lawyer jobs.

    "Financial rape victims," indeed.

    To add insult to injury on the financial rape, I'm quite impressed with the rate at which conditional scholarships are reduced or eliminated at T$U. There's no better sign of a scam than reneging 75% of recipients' scholarships. Especially with the notoriously subjective grading system of law school.

    In the end, it's clear. No amount of "hustle," "AAMPLE," "dreams," or any other bullshit change the fact that ONLY A COMPLETE IDIOT WOULD ATTEND TEXAS SOUTHERN.
    If you believe this shit, you're a fucking child who won't do well when cold-called in front of 60 people (and inevitably be made to look like a moron) during 1L. Anyone who argues to the contrary is, objectively, an idiot.

    To the prospective students out there, if this post doesn't make sense, you need to ask someone to make sense of it for you. If you don't it's a sign of several things, (1) you're too lazy to seek clarity on important aspects of life decisions, (2) your reading comprehension is crap, (3) you'll never under a SCOTUS case written pre-1980, (4) your comprehension of simple numbers is crap, and (5) you're too proud to inform yourself of the downsides of law school—at T$U the downsides are life-altering.

    No matter how you slice it, Texas' HBCU is a terrible decision. If a single piece of this analysis is incorrect, I look forward to T$U's Career Services providing a prompt clarification with disclosures of their relevant supporting documents.

    For further reading see

  2. Don't go to law school if any of the below apply to you.

    Non-trad (law firms don't want you if you're 30 or older)
    The school is not HYS
    You don't have some serious connections prior to going to law school (if your plan is to make connections while you're in school then you're already fucked)

    Age discrimination is rampant in law firm hiring. I was watching the NFL draft and teams don't really want to draft guys aged 24 or higher. At least that makes sense since the game's so physical and a lot of money is on the line. But a 30 year old law grad is considered old? It's not like their brains are starting to falter. The two best students at my TTT were non-trads. One was almost 40 and the other guy was early 30s. One of these guys was a science major and had published in science journals before going to law school. They kicked the shit out of the rest of us. Guess what? They didn't get shit in terms of job offers. One went solo and the other guy went back to his old job after trying to make a go of it in the shitty legal profession.

    As far as connections go the best ones are established family ones. They go back generations and old money is always considered good money. The next best are new money families. After that are political connections. If your parents have given big checks to elected officials, you should do well in life. But here's the rub. I've seen kids who thought they were hot stuff 'cause their family had been active in politics at the local level, and they got frozen out if they went to a shitty law school and didn't finish high in the class. On the other hand I knew kids who came from money, came to school drunk 3 days a week, did so so in law school and they're practicing law. See the difference?

    1. I agree with every word of that—except that I might take the "S" out of "HYS".

      I was treated as a senile old coot when I applied to law school (in my forties). Well, a funny little thing happened on the way to graduation: the senile old coot kicked ass. But I couldn't get a job, other than a federal clerkship; I seldom got even an interview. Yet every mediocre fuck from the bottom of the class sailed into Big Law or similar. Why? Because of money—and its presumed implications for bringing in business. The rich kids are obviously rich; Old Guy obviously is not.

      Also, political connections almost invariably require money, be it old or new. If you don't have money, you don't have political connections. By political connections, I mean big ones, not an acquaintance with the mayor of your little town in Nebraska or South Carolina.

    2. Lets be real here. Law school and the legal profession is not about skill. At one time, maybe it was, but no more. It is about giving rich VIPs sons and daughters something respectable to do so their VIP parent can say something about them. In return the VIP parent sends his legal work the firm's way. No one "practices law" anymore. Mostly it is shit show of half as stolen quotes shoved at some judge like "you figure it out." Save me from myself. I am convinced that it is the court's that are doing the lawyering today and like three lawyers at each law firm while the VIPs go out "networking" and participating in mock trials with high school kids. Because it is in their best interest to keep the world thinking law is a noble profession where their six figure salary is something anyone can get if you "just work hard."

  3. Team E-4 Mafia here,

    Hi unemployed/underemployed Texas law grads. You ignored all of the information out there that law school was a scam. That was information I wish I had about 15 years ago. The law school swine are busy pumping out more nonsense to you like, “your law degree is a million dollar degree,” “ give your career about 10 years and you’ll finally make it by then,” and “you should move to Nebraska” (funny how the tobacco companies stopped putting out shamelessly false information years ago, but not the law school swine). You could double down on your mistake and work document review, hand over more money to the law school swine by getting that LLM, or set up a solo practice/small firm with your friends in one of those dilapidated professional buildings. I suggest a better alternative is to jump ship now and salvage the rest of your life!

    Did you go to law school because you believe in social justice? Texas is the perfect state to become a police officer. The state is in good shape fiscally and a career as a police officer will provide you and your family with benefits and a pension. Cops have a lot of discretion when they are out on the streets. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of that discretion and pursue your social justice cause! And this is perfect timing because you are still young enough to start a career in law enforcement. Hell, any civil servant job would beat law. Apply to be a firefighter while you are at it.

    Did you go to law school because you thought you’d get rich? No problem. You still have a chance to get an MBA. This is a riskier route because there are a lot of scam programs. But if you do your research this time around, and put in the preparation for the GMAT, you could get into a decent MBA program and have a real career.

    Did you go to law school because you ignored all the information out there and thought you would have a secure career? Nursing is a secure career that pays good money. You already have a BA/BS. There are accelerated nursing programs just for you! Anecdotally, a lawyer friend confided in me that if his wife switched from part-time to full-time at her hospital, she would make more money than him. But they decided she should work part-time to spend more time with the children.

    You might be thinking, how I am going to pay back my $150,000 to $200,000 in student loans on a civil servant or nurse salary? For the time being, under the PSLF, the government will forgive your loans after you have made payments for 10 years while working a government or a non-profit job. Many hospitals are non-profit institutions and qualify. But be aware that this program may be eliminated.

    These are just some of the ways to overcome the rancid stench of that J.D. I’m sure the commenters could provide many other alternatives. Before you accuse me of trying to get rid of the competition, or accuse me of offering unrealistic alternatives, consider this. 1) I am not a lawyer, I gave up my law license years ago and I am pursuing a career in real profession. 2) These are the routes some of my friends took to overcome the mistake of law school.

  4. In addition to the many good points noted by Nando and 7:44, let's get back to basics. The only profession which requires its accredited schools to publish employment statistics for graduating classes(however squishy and fraudulent theses statistics may be, such as listing part-time jobs) is the legal "profession". Not schools of medicine/dentistry/veterinary science/nursing et all-just law schools. So if you're a 0L considering law school, ask yourself the simple question
    Q: Why are law schools required to do this?
    A: Because for so long, so many of them flat out lied about employment results for their graduates; the ABA had to step in and require them to do so because the lying was becoming notorious and embarrassing.
    With that answer, whey would anyone want to attend law school?

  5. Let's spell it out for those who might be slow on the uptake (e.g., someone who recently took the LSAT):

    Don't go to Baylor University School of Law (Waco, TX).

    Don't go to Saint Mary's University School of Law (San Antonio, TX).

    Don't go to South Texas College of Law (Houston, TX)

    Don't go to Southern Methodist University School of Law (Dallas, TX).

    Don't go to Texas A&M/Wesleyan University School of Law (Fort Worth, TX).

    Don't go to Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law (Houston, TX).

    Don't go to Texas Tech University School of Law (Lubbock, TX).

    Don't go to University of Houston Law Center (Houston, TX).

    The University of Texas School of Law (Austin, TX) might be an exception if you are under 30 and politically well-connected and will not incur debt to attend (and that's not me -- or you! Don't kid yourself!), but even then you are sacrificing three years of your life for something you could probably have anyway (i.e., a lower-middle class life) and further you will have a good chance of ending up on a job you will hate.

    1. Don't go to any law school in Texas or for that matter any neighboring state (possible exception for some states in Mexico; I don't know conditions there). Not a single one of those schools is worth attending.

      The Univershitty of Texas is a trap: people imagine that it is good because 1) it enjoys the false prestige of a relatively high ranking from You Ass News; 2) it seems natural, or even necessary, to suppose that a state as large as Texas must have at least one good law school, and the Univershitty of Texas is the best of the lot. But it is still a fourth-tier (or bottom-end third-tier) toilet that has admitted people with LSAT scores as low as 128.

      A rich kid might consider attending the Univershitty of Texas but should reflect upon the stigma of having failed to get into a better law school.

  6. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingMay 1, 2016 at 5:39 PM

    And Texas is considered to be an "economic miracle," growing its economy well beyond national rates. And one important thing to remember: Texas population is growing. This is a warning: The CHECK ENGINE light is on. Law is not a sustainable career now.

    1. ^TITCR

      Doesn't the state have a budget surplus of a couple billion dollars?

    2. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingMay 2, 2016 at 6:24 AM

      And its usually gub'mints that hire attorneys....So, even in good, flush times which one would think that this would help with attorney employment outcomes in Texas. It does not. Its a disaster in Illinois, California where gub'mint finances are shakey.

  7. Air: "The Yellow Rose of Texas"

    There's a scam school down in Texas
    That I went for to see.
    I got in with one-thirty
    On the L-S-A-T.
    I graduated unemployed;
    It liked to break my heart.
    And now I know that my degree
    Ain't worth a donkey's fart.

    Three hundred thousand smackers
    I never can repay.
    No need to take the bar exam:
    I'd fail it anyway.
    You can talk of Appalachian
    Or sing of Tom Cooley,
    But my scam school down in Texas
    Is the only scam for me.

  8. I'm a Texas resident and ex-lawyer. So, the local going-to-be-DA in my county that is bigger than the State of Connecticut with only 10,000 residents is in his early 40's, has a JD from U Chicago and other great credentials. And here he is 300 miles from anywhere...and here I am too.

    I wouldn't touch legal practice with a pole that reached to East Coast.

    That's what's up.

    1. Captain Hruska Carswell, Continuance KingMay 3, 2016 at 5:55 AM

      That DA or PD job is the gold standard, other than BIG LAW, for the legal profession these days. Or you are stuck being a solo at 37K per year and a Bronze Level Plan or in a micro-firm "boutique" "law group" in a 50s era faux colonial dilapidated professional office hustling car accidents (soft tissue mostly), DUI, Bankruptcy and divorce. A PD or DA used to be a stepping stone for building a practice and networking. Gub/mints aren't hiring.

    2. To make matters worse, he came from high up in the DuPage County, IL PD's office. He is a good man and a good lawyer.

      I'm sure he came because he's a big fish in a small pond out here. That just tells you how hyper saturated the legal market really is.

      New grads do not have a prayer. Not one prayer.

    3. You think that's bad, I do doc review on and off, and some of the people I've sat next to are ridiculously amazing.

      And that's doc review, probably the worst, most soul crushing job you can get.

      My favorites are probably the STEM grads/former engineer types. They seem to understand they screwed up, but apparently can't get their old jobs back either, so they're stuck. But they actually seem to be an amusing mixture of resigned and at peace about it.

  9. Adam Reposa is a LAWYER!!!

  10. Hey Nando, an anonymous person shared this over at OTLSS; I just wanted to bring it to your attention, since it mentions your own former school by name...


    On March 20, 2015, the Dallas Morning News published a Robert T. Garrett piece, under the banner headline “Texas’ rainy day fund overflows — and divides legislators.” The first paragraph provides a little background:

    “Texas is so awash in money, with so much of it politically untouchable, that even some conservative Republicans want to stop salting away so much in savings.”

    Further down, Garrett provides more details:

    “The fund gets its money mainly from oil and gas severance taxes — a big chunk of any collected above amounts paid in 1987.

    For nearly two decades, there was never more than $300 million in the fund. Budget writers often tapped it, without much ado. Since Republicans cemented their control of the Legislature in 2003, though, a revival of oil and gas exploration has been filling the fund rapidly.

    The fund’s evolution tracked changes in conservative Republicans’ priorities during former Gov. Rick Perry’s tenure. He was pleased when lawmakers drew down $100 million in 2005, to launch his pet Emerging Technology Fund. But after that, he joined tea party activists and fiscal hawks to fiercely resist huge withdrawals.

    So the pot grew bigger than Craymer and his colleagues ever envisioned.

    As of Feb. 28, the fund had nearly $8.5 billion. Comptroller Glenn Hegar says it will hit $11.1 billion by the end of the next two-year budget cycle. And that’s even after nearly $4 billion was taken in the past 18 months to pay for voter-approved water projects and roads.”

    And yet the state Attorney General is not hiring lawyers with less than 3 years of experience. This is what happens when you have a GLUT in a given field, i.e. entry level jobs disappear as those with experience can be expected to fill those slots. When a state is flush with cash and still does not provide many new attorney positions, it speaks volumes. What a dynamic “profession,” huh?!?!


    Back on January 10, 2014, Economic Modeling Specialists Intl. followed up their lawyer surplus chart with an article labeled “The Oversaturated Job Market for Lawyers Continues, and On-The-Side Legal Work Grows.” Check out this opening:

    “In most of the U.S., and for many law school graduates, the legal job market continues to be lousy. This has been a big storyline for several years, and potential law students — not to mention law schools themselves — appear to be getting the message. As the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog noted in December, first-year enrollment at U.S. law schools sank to the lowest total since 1977. The 39,675 full- and part-time students enrolled marks a 31% drop since 2010, when more than 52,000 were enrolled.

    Still, the number of law degrees completed in the U.S. has yet to dip. There was actually a slight bump in degrees awarded from 2011 to 2012, the latest year of data available from the National Center for Education Statistics. The following chart is from EMSI’s Analyst tool:

    In 2011, we wrote about the massive glut of new lawyers coming into the job market in a data spotlight that was mentioned by the New York Times and many other media outlets. In this post, we updated the supply-and-demand outlook for lawyers by state to see if the picture looks any better than it did a few years ago.

    The answer: Not really. Hiring has mostly been stagnant coming out of the recession, and more than twice as many people graduated with law degrees in 2012 (46,565) as there are estimated job openings (21,640). But take away full-time, salaried positions and the real growth in the lawyer job market has come from those working on the side in part-time arrangements. It’s here where many of the job opportunities appear to be, which is hardly encouraging for newly minted lawyers deep in debt.”

    “State of Texas

    2012 Law Graduates: 2,372
    2013 Est. Job Openings (Salaried Employees + Self Employed): 1,808
    Graduates to Openings Ratio: 1.3
    2010 Jobs: 53,090
    2013 Jobs: 54,292
    % Change: 2%”

    The state had more than 54,000 licensed, EMPLOYED attorneys in 2013. Of course, this also includes desperate solo practitioners. Do you think that this is pretty much a saturated local market? By the way, Texas is doing well financially and yet there has not been a large increase in the number of people working as lawyers in the state. Does that send a message to your tiny brain, Lemming?!?! If not, then take the following info regarding when attorney income isn’t from their primary job into consideration:

    “California and Texas combined have more than a fifth of lawyers who work on the side, according to EMSI’s extended proprietor data. California alone has added nearly 6,000 of these positions since 2009, a 37% increase. New York, a state with more than 10,000 on-the-side lawyers, has grow even more (51%).”

  13. Help!!! The highly adaptable and flexible English language is breaking down.

    We simply don't have words to describe the astronomically high level of lawyer saturation that exists today.

    These blogs are misleading and are unwittingly engaging in pro-law school propaganda because there simply isn't a word to describe today's phenomenon.

    When I started out, some 25 years ago, the descriptor used was "saturated." Yes, even back then we had this problem. But simple 'saturation' can be overcome with hard work, connections, increased credentialing, and networking. The words 'overabundance' and 'surplus' were also commonly used.

    Then we had 'over saturated.'

    Then we had 'super saturated,' 'hyper saturated,' 'extremely saturated' .... 'extremely over-saturated' . . . 'beyond over extremely hyper-saturated'....

    Accuracy demands that we use language that truly describes the dire situation that exists today. When we use words like 'saturated' to describe today's market, it's like a reporter calling a genocidal, racist, warmongering evil dictator 'a naughty person.'

    Saturation is so 1990s.

    Having a 'super-saturated' market today would be an improvement.

    Anyone got a word?

    1. Prospective students nowadays don't use words anymore. Try emojis.

  14. According to the Paris Island Marine Corps drill sergeant in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, the only things in Texas are “Steers and Queers”. Now we’ll have to add unemployed lawyers to that list…

  15. On April 25, 2016, JDU's "massivemissive" started a thread labeled "Nearly One-Fourth Of Texas Law School Grads Are Unemployed Or Underemployed." Take a look at the following discussion:

    massivemissive (Apr 25, 2016 - 9:17 pm)

    I bet the 5 year out stats are worse.


    jdntx (Apr 26, 2016 - 9:15 am)

    I can vouch for that. Depressing. I guess you must have to stay in the large metro areas if you wanna work? Not sure. My experience is everyone wants at least 5-7+ years of experience. Entry level anything is a hard thing to find.

    qdllc (Apr 26, 2016 - 10:25 am)

    That's always the result of a glut in supply....entry level jobs disappear.

    Why take a newbie when you have how many experienced people looking for work?

    darkknight (Apr 26, 2016 - 12:28 pm)

    It's hilarious that the article suggests 10 years ago things were much better and six-figure jobs were easy. I was in law school around then. Yes things were easier than they are now, but even then tons of grads struggled to find jobs.

    A solid state economy has not resulted in a significant increase in public or private lawyer jobs. Get the point, Lemming?! Now, try to see if you can put your TTT law degree to use in states such as Ohio, Alabama or Montana. The sickest part is that your "law professors" DO NOT CARE what happens to YOU, the student or recent graduate. The federal student loan money has cleared, and you are not even an afterthought. Thanks for playing, dolts.


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