posted on Dec, 11 2012 @ 09:26 AM
hate to revive an old thread but i can actually shed some light on this, i am currently in law school, and i have very realistic expectations about my
career, and i do not expect to earn six figures coming out of school. that being said... here's the problem with the legal industry, summed up:
law is an extremely elitist/prestige driven profession, and prestige is governed by the rankings published annually by the US news magazine, the
rankings themselves are absolute garbage, and one could even argue that they're rigged in many ways, unfortunately, the entire legal profession is
obsessed with the rankings. the top fourteen schools, or the "t14" as we call it, get the best job prospects, the ranking of the t14 do not change
much from year to year and overall they stay the same 14 schools: harvard, yale, stanford, northwestern, u of chicago, u of michigan, u of virginia,
georgetown, duke, cornell, berkeley, u penn, columbia, NYU.
in good years, they can send about 80 percent of their graduating class into jobs at big firms where they can and do earn six figure incomes. Once
you get out of the top 20 to 30 schools, job prospects diminish rapidly. between the ranks of 30 and 50, you can expect big firm placement numbers to
be around 30 to 40 percent depending on location, and from 50 to 100, big firm placement numbers dwindle to 10 to 20 percent. outside of the top 100,
a school is considered third or fourth tier, and in good years, would be lucky to send just five percent of their graduates to big firm jobs.
in the context of economics, law schools are sellers of degrees, but the value of the degree has large discrepancies, some sellers will sell a
superior good, others will sell an inferior good. but in terms of free-market economics, those selling inferior goods will have to charge less for
them because of lower demand, right right right? wrong.
here's where the problem is:
-big firm jobs all pay six figures, but everything else pays between 2000 to 40000 per year. this creates an extremely bimodal salary scheme where
you either make tons, or nothing, with very few placed in between.
-the cost of law school are all expensive regardless of job prospects, between 40000 to 70000 per year, adjusting for cost of living. that's right,
it costs as much to attend harvard as it does to attend some podunk local law school.
-40000 law students graduate every year from more than 150 accredited law schools nationwide, into 25000 jobs, so it's guaranteed that a little under
half of all grads will NOT be getting law jobs.
-lower ranked schools will game their employment statistics to make them seem more appealing, they do this by statistical sleight of hand. the
statistics are collected by a self-reported survey, but sometimes, unemployed students are not given access to the survey. and "employed" in terms
of these statistics, mean employment in any capacity. someone who is serving coffee at starbucks will also count as employed. the school would go as
far as hiring its own graduates so they can be counted as employed.
so why do students still go to law school, given the state of things?
-false advertising, false promises created by phony numbers
-strings-attached scholarship offers, many students lose their scholarships after the first year.
in summary, the american bar association is a cartel with a monopoly in legal education, and they play an extremely dirty game that is frankly,
ruining the legal industry.
here's how we can fix it: revoke accreditation for all schools outside the top 100 schools, and impose mandatory dismissals of the bottom quarter of
the class every year. feel free to PM me if you guys want to know more