Before You Go to Law School, Study This Infographic from "The Best Colleges".

Law School Bubble
From: The Best Colleges

Before You Go to Law School Research the Ugly Truth about the Legal Profession

Going to Law School may be Financially
and Vocationally Disastrous.

Think very, very carefully before going to law school and perhaps ruining your life, permanently.  The law schools have been flooding the market with a large oversupply of attorneys for decades.  This has been a problem for a long time, not just in the current recession.  The legal job market is horrible right now and it was only a little less awful earlier in the decade and in the 1990's.  Consequently, the happy-talk about how the legal job market will improve significantly after the recession ends is bogus and intended to fool you.  A huge amount of JDs, perhaps as much as 50%, never find work as attorneys, and many who do find work don't earn enough to make having gone to law school worthwhile.  If you are looking for something to do with a liberal arts degree, find something else.  Also, because of the huge oversupply of attorneys, working as a lawyer can be very miserable.  Attorneys work very long hours under intense pressure in Machiavellian environments and many do not earn high incomes unless they are at large firms.

Eventually one out of every 172
Americans will be a lawyer!

Based on calculations I have made previously using ABA, LSAC, and Census Bureau projected population data, one out of every 275 people in the United States was a licensed attorney in 2004.  This inverse attorney-to-population ratio decreased to about 258 in 2009, just five years later.  At the current rate of lawyer overproduction where about 44,000 new JDs are produced every year, assuming that a new 25 year old lawyer would want to work for 40 years and that enough new law schools open so that the current pace of new JD production increases proportionally to population growth, enough new lawyers are being produced so that eventually one out of every 174 people will be a lawyer.  If (as reported at various places) students at top schools have been having difficulty finding entry-level jobs in the legal profession when that ratio is 257.5, how hard will it be to earn a living when one in every 172 people is a lawyer?

The law schools, the universities, the ABA, NALP, the student loan companies, and other law school-dependent and related industries do not necessarily have your best interests in mind.  These are NOT necessarily benevolent organizations that look out for the best interests of students and society.  Rather, they may be socially irresponsible, self-interested, greedy organizations that could care less about you and society.  They may be no different from regular for-profit corporations in those regards.  This conflict of interest is not specific to the legal profession, but to the education industry-student loan complex in general.  Colleges and universities are essentially greedy businesses that generate profits in the form of salaries for university executives, deans, and well-paid professors.  They don't care if they are producing three or four times as many new lawyers as what the market needs.  Some of these entities can and will purposely and knowingly publish inflated and misleading employment statistics so that the student-loan funded tuition dollars continue to roll in.  These are not benevolent, socially responsible societal organizations.  They are not your friends.  There is a conflict of interest between these organizations' interests and students' and society's interests.  Most people are completely unaware of that conflict.  Also, remember that someone who works at a fast food job after law school is technically "employed" for statistical purposes.  Also, if only 20% of all employment survey recipients respond and they are the ones who obtained positive outcomes, the employment statistics will look good.

You can damage yourself severely by accumulating over $120,000 (if not much more) in student loan debt that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.  That debt could haunt you forever and reduce your attractiveness to members of the opposite sex, delay (or prevent) important life events such as marriage and having children, and leave you impoverished and feeling like a member of the indentured educated class for the rest of your life.

Also, your law degree could make it difficult to find work in other fields because employers will assume that you are a loser if you couldn't find work as a lawyer because the naive public believes that all lawyers are rich and that the legal profession is a good field.  Even if they know that law is a competitive field, they will regard you as a complete loser anyway since you couldn't make it.

If you are thinking about going to law school, most of the information you will find will be positive, optimistic happy-talk put out by self-interested law school industry organizations or naive journalists.  The purpose of this side-blog is to provide an easily available list of alternate resources for people who are contemplating law school.

Legal Job Market Articles

Here is a list of links to articles and other material about the legal job market. I want to begin compiling a list of references or "evidence" for future use. This is a work in progress and if you know of any good articles that I have missed, please leave a comment with a link.

Opportunity Lost: How Law School Disappoints Law Students, The Public, and the Legal Profession This is a profound article written by an adjunct law professor. It succinctly summarizes the problems with having a large oversupply of JDs. This is a must read. I reviewed this article on my blog: Two Profound Articles

Is Law School a Losing Game? This is a great article that was published in the New York Times. I reviewed this article on my blog: Two Profound Articles

Law School Economics: Ka-Ching!, New York Times, July 16, 2011. This is another profound article that provides insight about the conflict of interest between law schools' (and universities') pocketbook and law students' desire to obtain secure middle class and upper-middle class jobs.

No More Room at the Bench, Cleveland Plain Dealer, January 16, 2010

40 Years of Lawyer Overproduction, a Data Table, and 2 Charts, Fluster Cucked blog, July 5, 2010. This blog post reveals that the law schools have been overproducing lawyers at a rate to sustain having one lawyer for every 172 people since 1973. Think about that number. When was the last time someone you know needed a lawyer? Was it a once-in-a-lifetime event? Could the U.S. economy possibly employ one out of every 172 people as a lawyer?

Statistics suggest that only 53.8% of all lawyers are employed in the legal profession., Fluster Cucked blog, July 10, 2010. Since the job market was better in the 1970s and 1980s, presumably more than 53.8% of those graduates found jobs as lawyers, which means that the percentage of JDs who were able to enter the profession in the 1990s and 2000s is probably lower if not much lower than 53.8%. Further speculation suggests that less than 30% of new JDs were able to find work in the legal profession over the past 10 years, and that percentage may very well be significantly lower than 30%.

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be...Lawyers, Herwig J. Schlunk, October 30, 2009. This is a scholarly paper written by a law professor which shows that going to law school is a bad investment for 90% of all students.

Truth in Lending and in Careers, Howard B. Miller, May 2010. This piece was written by the President of the California Bar which makes this quote profound:

There is notoriously unreliable self-reporting by law schools and their graduates of employment statistics. They are unreliable in only one direction, since the self-reporting by law schools of “employment” of graduates at graduation and then nine months after graduation are, together, a significant factor in the U.S. News rankings — which are obsessed over, despite denials, by law schools and their constituencies.
The Crimson H: Jobless Harvard 3L Wonders, Why Me?, ABA Journal, March 1, 2010. If Harvard Law School graduates are having difficulty finding jobs, what does that say about the legal job market and the prospects for students at less prestigious schools?

Hard Case: Job Market Wanes for U.S. Lawyers, Wall Street Journal, September 24, 2007.

Economy Seems Bleak for Graduating Law Students, NPR, May 21, 2010.

Law School Tuition Hikes Spark Talk of Bubble, Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2010.  Could legal education suffer through something akin to the subprime crisis in the housing market?  As the cost of education rises while the value of having a law degree decreases, law school student loans are taking on an increasingly subprime character.

Law Jobs Still Lacking: Legal Sector Lost 22,200 in a Year, But Added 300 Last Month, ABA Journal, June 4, 2010. Note that the legal profession has been glutted for years and that unemployment and underemployment for lawyers is nothing new and did not start with the Great Recession.

As 'Troubling Indicators' Mount for 2010 Law Grads, an ABA Expert Issues a Warning, ABA Journal, May 6, 2010.

Clients Grow Cool to the Support of Dwindling Summer Classes, New York Law Journal, June 8, 2010. What's interesting about this article is that it reports that the number of summer associates at large firms, which is how most large firms hire almost all of their entry-level attorneys, has decreased significantly.

Federal Jobs Update! Class of 2011 is Screwed!. If you go to law school, do you think that you'll always be able to fall back on getting a federal government job? According to this study of some federal government hiring stats, your probability of finding entry-level attorney employment with the federal government is very low.

CNN Video: Law School Graduate Works in Coffee Shop Your law degree may qualify to ask people, "Would you like cream with that?" Don't let this happen to you! Don't fall for the law schools scam!

Trouble with the Law: Laid Off Attorneys Pursue New Paths. Even if you are lucky enough to find a good job in the legal profession and your offer is not deferred or rescinded, although you may think that you have made it, you can still suffer a layoff and find yourself unable to find a replacement legal job. Here's a story about a guy with $200,000 of debt who works at Radio Shack.

Animated Political Cartoons that Satirize Law School and the Legal Profession

I hope that you enjoy this collection of satirical cartoons about the law school scam and the practicalities of working in the legal profession. If you have just made a new cartoon or if I have missed some, please send me an email: frankunderemployedprofessional AT NO SPAM gmail dot com.

New!  Why Colleges Are Opening New Law Schools and joining the scam

New!  The Future of Law School -- Doo Lee's House of Jurisdoctorates

Don't Go to Law School -- Find Out Why

The Versatility of a Law Degree by Esq. Never

A Law School Christmas Carol by Esq. Never

TTT Grad's First Day at Big Law by TTT Graduate

TTT Grad on Talk Radio--follow up to his first day at the law firm by TTT Graduate

Super-Toileteer Stuck in Big Law Dungeon by TTT Graduate

Law School Career Counseling by Boston Law JD

So You Want to Go to Law School? by David Kazzie

Licensed Attorney Will Work for Food by ADP19

How to Land a Job After Law School by yttrey3

Law School Post-Graduation Informational Interview and Wake Up Call by yttrey3

The Law School Bubble by unperson

Law School Rant by dasweck

Legal Employment for a Recent Grad by ItsMrTheGamerGuy2010

The Noble Profession of Law by ItsMrTheGamerGuy2010

So you want to go to law school - job hunt fail by kings21686

Eager Law Student by jurystillout1

Why Did You Go to Law School? by ryang3315

TTT Woman and Mr. Gloom by ThirdTierReality

Super Hero TTT by LustyLarrysToilet2

Sua Comes Up on the Short End by SuaSponte2

Sua Goes to Court by SuaSponte2

Sua Runs Into a Classmate from Law School by SuaSponte2

Sua Seppuku by SuaSponte2

I'm in the process of reviewing and revising this list. I stopped here.

Four Funny Prints from The Jobless Lawyer

Salaries & Jobs for Law School Grads

Callie and Frank Dux Meet Up -- JD Underground posters?  Think anything like this has ever really happened?

Brooklyn Housing Court

Another Day in Bronx Housing Court

Beware, Bogus, Inflated Law School Salary/Job Stats Given Out by the Law Schools

Skadden Farts pt. 1

Law School ASW


TLS Part 544


Law Firm Interview

Law in the Future 



Seton Hall Administration

Lawyer Lawyer -- Be a Lawyer Kit comes with free admission to Super Toilet Law School for the low low price of $100,000.

B-School Guy vs. Law School Guy -- this seems like it's supposed to be an ad for a business school.  I don't understand why a school would advertise to the world that its students have large amounts of time to party and don't need to take studying seriously, and I'm sure that the situation for MBAs, who are also a dime-a-dozen, isn't all that much better than for JDs, but I found it amusing.

Salaries and Jobs for Law School Grads: Do the Law Schools Lie?

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