Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Eager law student cartoon

Old but hilarious. A good warning for those who want to attend and a good laugh for those who have already taken the plunge.


  1. What angers me most about the attacks on legal studies in the USA is this idea that there are "no jobs" and that students were lied too in order to attract students to law schools.

    Sure some law schools padded their stats, a practice common at EVERY educational institution in the US.

    However, there are PLENTY of jobs for lawyers in the US. The jobs just don't exist where YOU want to live.

    Sure all the law students who want to live in Georgetown, or Lincoln Park, or Brooklyn will have to compete with the cream of the crop from Harvard and Columbia for the $200k associates positions at the white shoe firms. There are not likely many entry level legal positions unfilled in cities like NYC, Chicago, and DC, WHY??? because EVERYONE wants to live there. Just like it will probably be hard to find a legal opening in Key West Florida, or Harbor Island in the Bahamas.

    If you don't mind moving to Nebraska, or Kentuky, or the middle of nowhere Texas, or Southern Illinois (like me), or Missouri, or central Florida, basically all places repulsive to someone who is between the ages of 25-35, you will EASILY find a job no matter what your class rank was.

    Those jobs will even pay pretty well, and considering the invitable LOW COST of living for places that no one wants to live, you will enjoy a decent standard of living.

  2. I hate to break it to you, Anonymous, but you are restricted in practicing law by your license, which is only state-by-state. But you knew that already. And how easy is it to move to a state where you've NEVER LIVED and where you know NO ONE when you have very little reserve assets? Seriously? "Move to some place you've never been and where you have no roots or contacts or anyone" is NOT a solution. And even in Minnesota, where I'm licensed, there is heavy competition for the tiniest towns, the most out-of-the way places. Hell, there's competition in freaking NORTH DAKOTA. And I'm supposed to move there without knowing anyone and without a guarantee of a job, or without a LICENSE FROM THAT STATE? Or I could pay the exorbitant licensing fees and travel hours and miles to take the written half of the bar exam again, without guarantee of a job.

    Solidarity, Subprime JD.
    So I simply cannot believe you.

  3. Nobody ever said that there are no jobs, just not enough jobs. 45,000 JD's per year being pumped vs 27,000 openings is not a pretty picture.

    It took me 20 months post graduation to find a full time legal job as a associate and not a temp. Believe me when I say it that I'm extremely fortunate. During those 20 months I lived at home and worked with the family business and did some BS contract work on the side for some attorneys. Absent my parents financial backing I would be in a world of pain.

    While rural areas will have less competition, dont forget that student loan amounts are still astronomically high. So for the lawyer who owes $120k and is making 35k working in a small town its still a horrible deal. Law has been over saturated for the past 20 years. Its just that tuitions have exploded higher coupled with the economic meltdown which has now made law school a extremley dangerous bet.

    If you are a law student I hope you take my advice to heart: live frugally and work part time and pay loan balances NOW. Don't let the debt monster creep up on you.

  4. forgive the terrible grammar, at work

  5. I came to this blog from the NY Times and I am glad I found it since I started considering law school. It seems the law profession is no different from the one I am trying to leave: nursing. I went into it thinking what great job -- helping people, lots of jobs, respected, well paid, etc... $40k later in student loans from the private university and I am stuck in a job where I am treated like dirt by peers, doctors, fellow nurses and often times patients. There aren't as many jobs as one would think -- most are in the hospital where the politics of oppression are the most high. I was turning to law, since I had considered it prior to nursing, but I don't want more financial debt. Moreover, who wants to spend $50k on a degree and not be able to find a job -- or have to leave in a teeny town in the middle nowhere for that job? I don't. Thanks. I enjoyed your posts.

  6. While I do not disagree that law schools over sell law degrees and the income, the advantage to a law school degree is that you can always open your own practice. I graduated in December 2007 and began practicing in June 2008. You do not need someone to employ you at a firm to work as a lawyer. Open your own practice, charge lower rates than the firms, but you get to keep more of your money. You may not get rich, but you will likely earn more than someone with a bachelor's degree.

  7. Hey, Anonymous...

    I live in Kentucky and have plenty of friends with law degrees (who write on blogs like this one) about their inability to find jobs in the state or elsewhere. Just FYI...

  8. Res Ipsa's comments PERFECTLY describe the attitude I am talking about:

    This entitled I have to do THIS attitude, and that once I pass the bar everything is over. Your clients will expect you to jump through hoops much greater than moving to another state, Or taking another bar exam.

    Solidarity with what?? If you already have a JD you can't get a refund, and if you think you can you are dillusional.

    If you are in law school maybe you want to reconsider? same goes if you are planning on going to law school.

    If you've already paid for your JD might as well make the best of a bad situation, and definately enroll in Income Based Repayment. If all of your loans are private, you are an idiot and probably shouldn't be a lawyer anyway.

    If you are like many of my friends, and refuse to leave Lincoln Park, and won't even look at jobs in the burbs, you might as well start looking at waiting tables, because it is going to be a while.

    Finally, If you are looking for a job right now, check allstate insurance. I have gotten 26 emails in the past two days of new openings, including several legal positions.

  9. Res Ipsas comment on moving to a new state can be summized into one statement:

    "but...but... theres no PF Changs there!"

  10. lol!! at anonymous!

  11. Im from TX and all the people i know, go out of state for law school, especially if they didn't go to UT Law or A&M law. then come back and work for local law firms.

  12. Makes you wonder how much Anonymous really knows when he/she claims there is an A&M law school in TX. I'm not sure they made one correct point in that entire comment. After all, if everyone from TX left the state then why is there a law school at Tech, Baylor, Houston, Southern Methodist, South Texas, Texas Southern, etc. Many of those are decent schools. Further, the only way someone comes back in and works for a local firm is if they graduated from the t14 or had connections.

    As other posers have noted, it's not a great decision to get a degree from a law school in one state and expect to practice in another state. That can be extremely difficult and costly to pull off for a new graduate who has debts, and no connections in the local community.

    Anyway, love the blog Subprime. I think it's great that people are out raising awareness of the true cost and sacrifice that a person has to make to go to law school and then be willing to pursue law as a career. Hopefully more people will read this blogs, and ones similar to it, and make an informed decision about their future.

  13. I'm a television producer in Washington, DC looking for a recent law school grad who can't find a job in the field and is swimming in school debt. If you are in the DC, Maryland, Virginia area and are willing to talk with me, please shoot me a call or email.
    Appreciate it!
    work: 202 895-5551
    email: smewing@wusa9.com


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