Why law school is a bad idea right now (Pt. 1)

Screen from an “Ace Wright” Wii game, depicting the main character, who is an attorney.

Hold it one moment. Law school students are being lied to! (Photo Credit: CC BY/J from the UK/Flickr)

This isn’t a lawyer joke, or even a setup for a barrage of lawyer jokes – unless you’re into that kind of thing. No, this is a reminder that the cost of a college education has outpaced inflation significantly, and that student loan debt is the next bubble that, upon bursting, will smite the U.S. economy in a rain of fire against a barren mountainside of lost hope. Oh, and along the way, you just might learn why law school is a bad idea – namely, because the starting salaries are nowhere near high enough to make a debt in the mountains of accrued student loan debt, and the chances of an actual job after graduation have dropped significantly, according to various sources.

Abandon all hope, all ye law school grads who enter here

You’ve heard the jokes about there being a special place in hell for lawyers. Depending upon the field of law practiced, the truth is sometimes intentionally lost amidst the oily details. What’s being lost most frequently of late is hope for law school graduates. According to the Wall Street Journal, a mere 55 percent of class of 2011 law school grads were employed full-time as lawyers within nine months of their graduation date. Less than 51 percent of those who found employment in private law firms. That leaves a very visible 45 percent that is either unemployed or underemployed in career fields that have little or nothing to do with their expensive law degree.

The law school graduate salary dump

The National Association of Law Placement has released a report that spells doom and gloom for law school graduates who have the funny notion that they’ll be able to pay off their student loans with high-paying jobs. The median salary for the class of 2010 as of February 2012 was $63,000, which is $9,000 less than the average salary for law school graduates of the previous year. This hasn’t sat well with new juris doctorate degree holders, as it means less pay down the road, as pay increases will be applied to a lower starting salary. Student loan debts aren’t adjusted in similar fashion, of course.

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‘Failing Law Schools – A Moral Disaster


ABA Journal


LSAT Blog: http://lsatblog.blogspot.com/2012/04/law-school-applicant-numbers.html

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