Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Asked and Answered: There Are Too Many Damn Law Schools


http://www.ctlawtribune.com/id=1202792445992/Are-There-Too-Many-Law-Schools?mcode=0&curindex=0

The Question: On July 7, 2017, the Editorial Board of the Connecticut Law Tribune published a piece entitled “Are There Too Many Law Schools?” Take a look at this exposition:

“Have you heard of Charlotte School of Law, or of Whittier Law School? Well, you may not hear of them for much longer. Both were scheduled to close this year, though in both cases there were campaigns by faculty and alumni to keep them open. 

Charlotte has been faltering in recent years, with bad news that has included being placed on probation by the American Bar Association due to the dismal record of its graduates in passing the bar exam and being kicked out of the federal student loan program by the Department of Education. 

Two deans then quit in rapid succession, and the North Carolina attorney general began an investigation of the school's state operating license. Though the school has applied to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to be allowed back into the federal student loan program, it is likely that too many current Charlotte Law students have moved to other schools to allow Charlotte to qualify for reinstatement. Whether students would be able to get their student loans discharged due to the school's closing was expected to remain a complicated and frustrating experience for students at the for-profit school. 

Schools like Charlotte, Whittier, and Arizona Summit Law School, another faltering school, illuminate a larger problem, or set of problems. Law schools still struggle to some extent with a diminishing number of applicants, though some suggest that the news reports of all those attorneys working on their computers on the floor in airports when the travel ban hit may inspire a number of people to consider law school after all. But the last few years have seen a steep decline in the number of applicants to law schools, estimated by some as at least 30 percent. In an effort to fill classes, some schools accepted students whose college records would never have supported admission in the past. Then, to no one's surprise, those students failed to pass the bar exam after graduation. The result is a population of young people not able to find employment, yet saddled with significant loans to pay off.” [Emphasis mine]

There are over 200 ABA-accredited diploma mills located in the United States. And by all accounts, only a handful of these are worth attending. Another dozen or so are calculated risks to the student – and I am being a little generous in that assessment. This means that roughly more than 180 are bad investments for the borrowers seeking a law degree. Do you like your odds, lemming?! How do you think you will fare with your 146 LSAT and 2.8 UGPA from Lancaster Bible College, idiot?

http://abovethelaw.com/2016/10/law-schools-agree-there-are-too-many-law-schools/

Prior Judgment: Back on October 6, 2016, Kathryn Rubino posted an ATL entry labeled “Law Schools Agree: There Are Too Many Law Schools.” Enjoy this opening:

“Finally, we get a chance to look behind the curtain and find out what law schools really think. These seemingly inscrutable actors have tremendous pull on the overall direction of the legal profession, but, hidden behind a veil of bureaucracy and academia, observers are often left to reverse engineer their motivations and opinions. But no more, finally they speak. 

Well, sort of. Kaplan Test Prep conducted a survey of law school admissions officers, and participation was high:

For the 2016 survey, 111 of the 205 American Bar Association-accredited law schools were polled by telephone between August and September 2016. Included among the 111 are 12 of the top 25 law schools, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report

So, what exactly did they say? Here’s the big one: 65 percent of schools surveyed agree it “would be a good idea if at least a few law schools closed.” I suppose none of the schools that answered in the affirmative think their institution should be the one that is shuttered. At a time when law schools are said to be in the midst of a “brain drain” with high quality potential applicants eschewing the law school life, this provides some valuable insight. It seems most schools recognize just because a student has the ability to take on educational loans for law school doesn’t mean they should be going to law school. Churning out graduates for the sake of the churn doesn’t benefit the profession. 

Despite this welcomed bit of realism, another data point suggests that even though they recognize more law students for the sake of law students isn’t always a good thing, getting schools to do something about it is more challenging.

24 percent of law schools cut the number of seats for their 2016 class of first-year students, lower than the 35 percent who reported doing so for the 2015 class of 1Ls and and the 54 percent who did for the 2014 class.” [Emphasis mine]

For $ome rea$on, the law school pigs want other commodes to close their doors. They want to remain in operation so that they can continue to financially ruin LEGIONS of law students each year. How admirable, huh?!?! If the bitches and hags had a single shred of integrity, then they would insist of thinning the herd, at the beginning of the process – and not after the individual simpletons graduate with $165K in additional, NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt.

Conclusion: Anyone with an IQ above room temperature knows that there are many damn law schools in this country. As a corollary, the job market for lawyers is GLUTTED. Yet, the federal government continues to annually issue billions of dollars in student loan money to these stench pits. If you are still considering this route at this point in time, then you are a lost cause. Hell, you are the type of person who needs to read the side of a paint can, so that you do not drink the contents. Also, if someone encourages you to go to law school, ask them where they earned their JD and the year in which they graduated. Then ask them if they practice law. If they do so, follow up with how much they make and then inquire about their debt load. I have seen a few Boomers without law degrees push younger people towards this path. By the way, a $48K salary is not impressive, if the person has accumulated large amounts of student loans. 

35 comments:

  1. Get this through your thick skulls, snowflakes. This one sentence is worth repeating.

    "This means that roughly more than 180 are bad investments for the borrowers seeking a law degree."

    In other words, if you have to borrow in excess of six figures to attend a law school outside the top 8, then you are risking your entire future on a career choice that could very well leave you far worse off than had you not attended. Choose wisely.

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    1. According to Old Guy's ratings, only 13 law schools are worth considering—and even they are risky. The rest, about 190, are effectively toilets.

      https://outsidethelawschoolscam.blogspot.ca/2017/05/the-seven-tiers-of-law-schools.html

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    2. The problem as always is that risk assessment only applies to the first job out of law school. The law profession is a significant risk for any attorney in their 40's and 50's and this risk has little to do with the law school attended.

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  2. No law school is going to close down voluntarily while the easy Federal loan money is still flowing. Eliminate the foolish waste of money that law school "loans" represent for the Federal taxpayer, and demand for seats in law schools will nosedive to just meet the actual market demand for new lawyers.
    I have always marveled at how one Federal agency, the Labor Department, can predict so few entry-level job opportunities for law graduates, while its sister Federal agency, the Education Department, can continue to throw so much money toward increasing the number of law graduates way beyond that meager demand for them.

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    1. Shittier (Whittier) closed voluntarily while the federal money was still flowing. So did Indiana Tech.

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    2. "Shittier (Whittier) closed voluntarily while the federal money was still flowing. So did Indiana Tech."

      No, they didn't. The Parent institution executed them because they were expensive, losing money, and embarrassing the hell out of the parent colleges.

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  3. I'm a physician who considered a career change to law on two occasions: In the early 1990's when I was struggling in my residency, and in the mid 2000's after a series of infuriating experiences left me wanting to leave medicine by any means necessary. Fortunately, I was already too far in debt as a resident to consider borrowing more money to go back to school, so that was a bust.

    The second time around was a little more serious. I did an inventory of the prerequisites I took in undergrad and was ready to sign up to take the LSAT. Though I knew the job market was glutted, I thought just by smarts and hard work--things that allowed me to function as a physician--I would easily outperform less driven and less intelligent attorneys and rise to the top. But then I got to thinking: First of all, it occurred to me that I had only met one lawyer in my life whom I actually liked. So, would I be entering a profession where I'd find most of my colleagues to be boorish boobs? And for that matter, some of my "colleagues" in the profession would be judges. In my state, judges above the magistrate level are all elected. And voters here are not known for selecting candidates on the basis of intelligence and professional qualifications. I know this might sound arrogant, but did I want to spend the rest of my working life bowing and scraping before judges, many of whom would be less intelligent than I?

    Then I considered the boredom I would likely experience in law school and afterwards. Man, if I thought medical school was boring, what would law school be like? I'd say it would be like 3 years of watching paint dry while doing long division by hand. At least I ended up in a field of medicine in which the science is actually kind of interesting.

    Finally, and most importantly, I considered whether entering the legal profession would be socially responsible. I would be leaving a medical specialty in which there was a critical shortage of practitioners and joining the legions of un-needed attorneys. That was the clincher, and I put my head down, changed my attitude and stayed in medicine.

    That said, I don't really feel sorry for most of the jackasses who entered the profession in the last twenty years and are now bitching and moaning about low salaries and shit jobs. By about 1990 it was obvious to most that there were too many damn lawyers in America. In my own state, tort reform, though beneficial to many, just made things worse for attorneys. So, by the mid 2000's, a 30 minute search on Google should have alerted any potential law school applicant that he or she might want to do a little more research and think twice before taking the plunge.

    This is what I think: I think many of these people matriculating in these cesspits are knowingly taking a chance (with federally guaranteed student loans) that they are going to get lucky and hit the big time with minimal effort. I'd guess that these low-tier law schools have watered-down curricula so that most of their students can pass. And since many of the students they admit have low GPA's and LSAT scores, it means they probably didn't put out that much effort in college. Feeling sorry for these people is like felling sorry for someone who gambles away his meager savings at a casino, thinking that he can get rich with minimal effort and no skill. The end result of this is that individuals who lack the intelligence or work ethic to effectively practice law are entering the profession. And now many of those shitheads are becoming judges and politicians.

    So, to hell with most of you--Not only the pigs who run these shit law schools, but also you jackasses who think it's okay to enter a profession where you will only make more trouble for the rest of us.

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    1. Stay in medicine. You chose well. I was too old for medicine by the time I went into law school (not knowing that I was also too old for law), but people were still urging me to pursue medicine. Too bad that I went into law instead, fool that I am.

      I don't feel the least bit sorry for the tens of thousands of fucking nincompoops going into law school with their low grades, lower LSAT scores, and general ignorance and ineptness. I haven't yet supported a lawsuit against a law school by a student claiming to have been deceived about prospects for employment.

      I'd set the minimum LSAT score at 160, and even that is generous. I'd raise the bar high, high. If law were a profession (and I use the subjunctive advisedly), its members, with few exceptions, would be of high calibre: intelligent, literate, knowledgeable, thoughtful, capable, ethical. Unfortunately, we're stuck with a contemptible free-for-all that makes me ashamed to associate my name with this racket.

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    2. "By about 1990 it was obvious to most that there were too many damn lawyers in America."

      That’s absolutely true. I attended a second tier law school from 1990-1993. There was no internet back then, but there were plenty of news articles about the oversupply of lawyers. It was common knowledge. If we didn’t know it when we first started, we figured it out very quickly thereafter: Finish in the top 10% or you are going to have a real hard time finding a legitimate legal job. I had a good friend (with poor grades) who never found legal work in any capacity. In fact, I don’t think he landed a single job interview. For him, law school was a complete waste of time and money. The law school scam has been going on a lot longer than a lot of people imagine.

      That said, there are two big differences between now and then. First, the debt load was much smaller 25 years ago. My friend recovered from his law school mistake and today lives a comfortable middle class existence with his wife and kids. Had he graduated with $200 K in debt, it may have ended up a lot differently for him. Second, the kids graduating today are much dumber. I didn’t know anyone who failed the bar exam when I took it back in 1993. Not a single person. When I see the pass rates for some of the schools today, its just mind-boggling.

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    3. What was not common knowledge, or at least was not known to Old Guy, was that even getting top grades from an élite law school wasn't enough for an old guy.

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    4. Congratulations on being able to avoid the law school scam on your own. However, if I may throw in my own two cents here: I don't know about condemning most if not all of the people who went to law school in the last TWENTY (20) years as "jackasses" but I personally would draw the line at anyone who went in the last FIVE (5) years, from anyone who matriculated in 2012 onward. The powerful NYT article came out in January 2011 and so all the prospective law students should have seen it by then. I can even understand and maybe even forgive anyone who still went to law school after that if they were (A) poor and minorities targeted by increasingly greedy and desperate law school pigs and/or (B) heavily-pressured youths forced to go to law school by their families (think the "do it or we disown you and throw you out of the house" types of parents), but otherwise... yeah, no sympathy for the rest. The majority of law school students these days seem to be greedy, deluded egomaniacs and/or horribly misguided "save the world" types.

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    5. 6:37 A M--everything you say is correct, and I would add a third difference today. Legal jobs/careers are a lot less stable now. Law firms are more likely to cut an attorney loose if it makes any financial sense at all. And government jobs, while more stable than private jobs, are less secure than they used to be due to constant budget problems and the threats of layoffs.

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    6. Agree with all of the above-except I do feel sorry for the taxpayers, who are footing the bill for this lunacy.
      And one thing to add: Nando's work is probably done, as there is an additional category of new law students; these guys fill the rest of the class. They are the students who just don't care, and who know that with their worthless BA it's either Starbucks or...wait for it...law school. And no matter how bad the GPA or LSAT, there is an ABA accredited law school which will accept them-and their loan $$$. They know they'll never get biglaw or any job which would pay the debt, but it's like hitting the lottery-there's always that microscopic chance. And they were never going to pay back their undergrad debt anyway, so what's another 200K? And nothing will ever get through to them, because they already know law school is a bad idea-but it beats working retail for three years. Those who are willing to listen to the facts have already listened; the rest attend law school because they literally have nothing better to do, debt be damned.

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    7. You are so fortunate to be a physician in a shortage area and not a lawyer. Many of my colleagues who went to top law schools were forced out of work at various ages. A big contingent of former big law lawyers who worked for 20+ years in big law or another high paying legal job after big law are now out of work and cannot find work.

      Schools like Columbia and NYU are gaming the transfer market with enough transfers to make up more than a law school class, thereby devaluing the degrees of their experienced grads, many of whom have not been able to find full-time permanent legal jobs for years.

      Recent BLS statistics show that lawyers at the median now earn substantially less than pharmacists.

      It is picture that anyone with half a brain will probably avoid today. If Columbia and NYU are super-risky and worth degrees for so many grads, what are the prospects from lower ranked law schools?

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    8. Those of us who went to law school before the 1990s are still struggling. Maybe we were dumb not to do diligence on the legal profession, but back then, it would have been hard to come by reliable information about law as a career.

      If you went to a top college and top law school (like a T5 law school and college under every US News Ranking since those rankings were established) and you are 50 or older and severely underemployed or unemployed, you really got screwed by the federal student loan system, even if you never had any loans. For many such top grads, their income is less than that of advertised proofreader jobs on Indeed because the lawyers don't get health or retirement benefits, while proofreaders for large organizations get those benefits.

      All of these people could have easily become doctors. If you are the top of your high school class, do well in math and science, graduate with honors from Harvard, Yale, Princeton or Stanford undergrad and score high on standardized tests, you are highly likely to get into medical school. Many of these same people became lawyers and found that Harvard, Yale, Columbia or Chicago law degrees are worthless once you are over age 50.

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    9. I wonder how many are in that category, 7:24. At this point I'm inclined to think that everyone is, or should be, aware of the law-school scam.

      However much a dolt with a BA from Bumblefuck U may want to go to law school, the state should not underwrite the project. I charge CORRUPTION.

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  4. Going to these low Tier schools is
    not a good ROI.

    If your going to spend 100k+ on a legal education you need to aim to get into a Top Tier 1 school like Seton Hall Law School.

    - OCI / Career services... second to none

    - Close to all the legal employment action with the largest firms in NYC

    - Moot court / Law review .. award winning and intellectual enough to write home to mom and dad about.

    - The oldest (established- yes we have our act together, unlike those T4 schools) private law school in NJ, with Seton alum network branched out
    within the Tri-state area.

    - We even have a conditional admit
    program similar to AAMPLE, but you have to attend part time, which means your lsat score will not impact our US News Rankings!!!! --- "Hat off" to the Dean for keeping us highly ranked and competitive while still giving others a chance!

    The best part is that our school cares and job placement is our school's number 1 priority. You'll be hard pressed to find an unemployed Seton law grad!

    Not to be an elitist, but if you cant land a T1 school, then maybe your not cut out for law.

    A JD from any school is not a JD. When attending Seton Hall law you are getting a high quality legal teaching experience traced back to over a few decades of excellence.

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    1. "Not to be an elitist, but if you cant land a T1 school, then maybe your not cut out for law."

      This might be the first thing you've said that I can agree with! The problem is that "T1" is only about 11 schools, and Seton Hall sure as hell ain't one of them.

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    2. Hey AAMPLE fool! You really think Seton Hall gives "a high quality legal teaching experience" etc etc etc.? HA! Who are you kidding? That place is a true trash heap. The great L4L, blogger of Big Debt, Small Law, went there, and he wrote plenty about it! See for yourself: As he never tired of pointing out, the big law firm Cozen, JUST DOWN THE STREET FROM SETON HALL, wouldn't even stop by to collect the law students' resumes, not even to humor them. What does THAT tell you about the quality of SH?

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    3. AAMPLE troll kept shilling that program, even with its 30% bar passage rates. Ad Seton Hall? Attending SH guarantees one thing: a mountain of debt.

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  5. There are only 2 types of law school you should even consider:
    1. Top 20-ranked law school, or:
    2. The Top-Ranked law school in the state you want to practice, if you can get a discount.

    No other school should be considered, under any circumstances.

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    1. Too generous. Even with a discount, the top-ranked school is worth considering only in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Don't go to law school in any of the other forty-one states.

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    2. I was thinking more like University of Nebraska, if you wanted to work in Nebraska. Way better choice than the ultra-toilet Creighton.

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  6. Law school is a bad idea for the vast majority of people. For profs it's great. And for the deans. But it's a bad idea for 90% of students. And that might be conservative. I'm so glad I got out of law when I did. I won't forget the big weight losses and gains from stress. I went back to school and now do something I enjoy. And as an added bonus I make more than I did as a licensed attorney. I don't miss the deadlines and countless memos. Or the phone calls at midnight telling me to drop everything and draft some memo. If you went to law school you can actually go back to school for something more to your liking. Just be smart about where you go. And the cost.

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  7. Sixty-five percent of schools say that a few schools should close? I'm surprised that it isn't 100%.

    Of course the scamsters want other schools to close: that would thin the competition and perhaps enable them to pick up a few more fee-paying students.

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  8. Unless you go to HYS or the best and cheapest state school in your own state, you're taking a terrible gamble.

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  9. https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/25/opinion/too-many-law-students-too-few-legal-jobs.html

    Back on August 25, 2015, the New York Times published an opinion piece from Steven J. Harper, under the headline "Too Many Law Students, Too Few Legal Jobs." By the way, Harper was a former partner at Kirkland & Ellis - and he is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law. He knows what he’s talking about, regarding this scam. Enjoy this opening:

    "Ten months after graduation, only 60 percent of the law school class of 2014 had found full-time long-term jobs that required them to pass the bar exam.

    Even that improvement over the class of 2013 (a 57 percent employment rate) came with three asterisks: Last year, the American Bar Association changed the job-reporting rules to give law schools an extra month for the class of 2014 to find jobs; graduates employed in law-school-funded positions count in the employment rate; and the number of jobs that require bar passage fell from 2013 to 2014.

    Amazingly (and perversely), law schools have been able to continue to raise tuition while producing nearly twice as many graduates as the job market has been able to absorb. How is this possible? Why hasn’t the market corrected itself? The answer is that, for a given school, the availability of federal loans for law students has no connection to their poor post-graduation employment outcomes.

    Students now amass law school loans averaging $127,000 for private schools and $88,000 for public ones. Since 2006 alone, law student debt has surged at inflation-adjusted rates of 25 percent for private schools and 34 percent for public schools."

    As the author pointed out, while the “profession” has become GLUTTED, law school tuition has continued to SKYROCKET. Does anyone think that these “legal scholars” are putting the interests of their pupils first?!?! Harper also points to the centerpiece of the scheme, i.e. the federal student loan spigot.

    Simply put, incurring outrageous sums of NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt for a chance to practice law does not make economic sense. I’ve seen Public Defenders and small law practitioners who make $50K a year, and who still enjoy their work. That might not be so bad for a 57 year old who spent $10K for his law degree in 1984. However, when you owe $167K in student loans, for a JD issued from a toilet in 2010, then you are essentially in financial turmoil.

    If one’s total education debt should be less than their expected starting salary, then what’s the point of attending an ABA-accredited garbage heap?! For instance, how many law grads are going to make $200K per year, coming out of low-ranked commodes such as Stetson or Charleston Sewer of Law? Yet, the pigs are happy to increase tuition every year – and plenty of idiots continue to enroll in these cesspits.

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  10. I have an MBA but haven't been able to get a job with it. I wasn't a business major in undergrad so it was probably a bad idea to go for the MBA.

    I'm considering law school. I got a 155 on the lsat exam. I might be able to get into a state school here with that. But the cheapest one charges about $20,000 for in state tuition. And I'd probably be on the hook for it all.

    My dad's friend suggested I take it again. He's a lawyer. He said a 160 might get me some scholarship money. I don't think I will though. The stress of taking that lsat made me ill for 3 weeks after. And I just don't want to go through that again. Just tell me if I should take it again.

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    1. Are you spastic or something? You're too "stressed out" by the thought of taking the LSAT again, but you're thinking about spending 3 years in friggin' law school?

      That is asinine.

      Look for chances to shmooze with people.... not "looking for work" shmoozing, but just meeting people: Chamber of Commerce meetings, Business and Industry Assn luncheons, whatever. Focus on "meeting people" instead of "getting a job." Nobody gets a good job without connections. If you can't make connections now, blasting away 3 years of your life on a law degree will not help you in the least.

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    2. Short answer: No.

      Apparently you are thinking of law primarily (solely?) as a way "to get a job". If you haven't been able to get a job with an MBA, you wouldn't fare better with a JD. You would probably hate law school, too.

      Your score of 155 is good enough for free tuition (not a "scholarship") at several dozen toilets. So what? You shouldn't go to any toilet.

      By getting your score up to 167, say, you might have a chance at one of the few law schools that are worth attending. They too would probably be unwise choices, even if you got a significant discount.

      Raising your score even to 160 would require real effort, and the illness that you suffered just from taking the LSAT before suggests that you would not be able to put forth the effort required. Merely taking the test again would probably yield the same score, within a point or two.

      Your father's friend was called to the bar long ago, wasn't he? Law school and employment for fresh graduates were both different in his day. Unless he has studied current conditions, his advice may be unsound.

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    3. Become a salesman. Salesman are never out of work.

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    4. The actual practice of law is not what you think it is. If you knew what we do on a daily basis you would spend three years of your life and hundred of thousands of dollars pursuing it. For most folks it is not a good profession for them.

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    5. Seriously, 2:36, the analysis should rather be whether you want to be an attorney or not. Except for attending a truly tlite law school, unless you end up in the top ten percent of the class, you MUST be prepared to make it as a solo attorney. That is the most likely outcome for an unconnected graduate of a TTT faring worse then the top ten percent or so as to First Year Grades.

      Have you spent any time in any capacity in a law firm? That is, to experience what attorneys really do, what clients are like, what billing is like, etc. That would tell you much, much more about whether to pursue law. It is about whether you want to be an attorney, especially a solo or smalllaw attorney, wither way, a tough way to make a living, believe me.

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  11. http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2015/10/29/law_schools_are_admitting_too_many_poorly_qualified_students.html

    On October 29, 2015, Slate featured a Jordan Weissmann article titled "Desperate Law Schools Are Admitting Way Too Many Poorly Qualified Students." Look at this portion:

    "As their application numbers collapsed in recent years, a good number of law schools were forced to choose between their academic standards and their finances. With fewer qualified candidates to go around, some decided to shrink their enrollment numbers and forgo a bit of revenue rather than drastically relax their admission criteria. But many others took the path of least resistance, opening their doors to poorly qualified students willing to pay tuition.

    As a result, a depressing number of law schools are now filled with students who may simply not belong there. According to a new study released this week by the advocacy group Law School Transparency, there were 37 institutions last year where at least half of all new students scored below a 150 on the Law School Admission Test, or LSAT, up from just nine such schools in 2010. Why is that significant? The group argues that students who fail to break the 150 mark face a "serious risk" of eventually failing their state bar exam once they graduate, which would leave them unable to actually practice law.

    To put this in perspective, there are only 203 law schools accredited by the American Bar Association. That means nearly 1 in 5 are now admitting classes that are half made up of at-risk students. At 74 schools, meanwhile, at least a quarter of new students failed to clear a 150 on their LSAT.
    "We are not aware of a time when so many law schools had something like an open enrollment policy," the report states, noting that 4 out of 5 people who applied to law school last year were admitted by at least one. "To a real extent, we're in uncharted territory."

    That is embarrassing and, most importantly, it is harmful to the students. Medical schools do it right: they thin the herd at the beginning of the process, not after the graduate has incurred $150K+ in NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt for the degree. Imagine if U.S. medical programs admitted a large portion of applicants. Would you trust all doctors to perform routine exams on you, if that were the case?

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  12. https://thepeoplestherapist.com/2010/11/03/extremely-versatile-crockery/

    Back on November 3, 2010, former Biglaw associate Will Meyerhofer wrote an excellent piece entitled "Extremely Versatile Crockery." He comes out swinging:

    "For the record, a law degree is not “versatile.” Being a lawyer amounts to a strike against you if you ever decide to pursue another career.

    So why do people keep insisting it’s an “extremely versatile degree”?

    A bunch of reasons.

    Law schools are in it for the money. Teaching law doesn’t cost much, but they charge a fortune – made possible by not-dischargable-in-bankruptcy loans. That makes each law school a massive cash cow for the rest of the university. Money flowing from the law school pays the heating bill for the not-so-profitable Department of Neo-Structuralist Linguistics.

    Law students play along with the “extremely versatile degree” farce to justify the three years of their life and the ungodly pile of cash they’re blowing on a degree they’re not interested in and know nothing about. This myth is also intended to calm down parents. You need a story to explain why you don’t have a job, but that it’s somehow okay.

    No one else cares. And that’s chiefly why this old canard still has some life left in it.

    Time to put it out of its misery.

    Why is a law degree not versatile?

    Let me count the ways.

    For one thing, it costs about $180k. Anything that leaves you two hundred grand in a hole is not increasing your “versatility” – it’s trapping you in hell.

    For another thing, studying arcane legal doctrine for three years (a purely arbitrary number) leaves you with no translatable skills. The arcane legal doctrine you learn in law school isn’t even useful at a law firm, let alone anywhere else."

    That was written nearly seven years ago, by a guy who graduated from NYU School of Law. He left the "profession." While enrollments have shrunk since then, commodes merely lowered their admi$$ion$ "standards" further.

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