Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Law School Lies

The lead article in yesterday's WSJ trumpets "A Stingier Job Market Awaits New Attorneys". This is news? The article has a graph that compares the growth in GDP with the growth in legal services; it shows that the disconnect has been at work since the early nineties. For years I have been advising young people not to go to law school unless they simply had the itch, and to stay away from the expensive schools unless they were ready to compete for elusive, spirit grinding jobs at the elite firms with starting salaries now at $160,000 (and starting billable hour requirements at 2000+). With those jobs, if one lands one, the graduate could at least start to pay off his or her debts. Go into public interest law? Start with a small firm or hang up one's shingle? Forget it, if you have $100,000 of college debt and another $100,000 for law school.

The article describes the duplicity of law schools in what they say about the salaries of their graduates. Many, especially the "second-tier" schools, simply lie. They simply lie. I am waiting for a class action to be brought against the law school industry by struggling young law graduates. Why do they lie? For universities, the article reports, "law schools are money makers."

UPDATE: Juan pointed me to the WSJ lawblog. This article generated a lot of comment, and Juan tells us to look here and here. The WSJ article that I discuss can itself be freely accessed here. Thanks, Juan!

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