We have had a lively discussion on our post about the Big Law pricing models (i.e. continue to charge high billable rates at a time where there is not enough business and folks are getting laid off). It sounds counter-intuitive, but there are actually some rational reasons for doing that (e.g. the danger of compromising the perceived quality of the services you offer). We also had a number of comments on our post about the layoffs at East Coast megafirm White & Case and the potential implications for Big Law.
A thread started in the comments to the latter post that I found of interest — the current value (or lack there of) of a legal education. The following is a posting from a commenter who uses the nom de plume “ex-RB”:
… I’m bitter because so many of my classmates – the ones who were in my study groups, the ones whom I spent countless hours with on moot court and law review, the ones who had a good time at bar review with me (but not as good of a time as me) – all bought into the severely overpriced institution of law school and were unable to land anything paying more than a quarter of what I made…all because their GPAs were two-tenths lower than mine.
I’m sure you’ve all seen the bi-modal distribution of law grad salaries. For every grad like me who IS afforded a BigLaw offer, there are four or more stuck on the other end of the spectrum. And while I’m happy for those like you who were able to hang their own shingle, there are many others without any business acumen whatsoever who would and do flounder and pack up shop after a short while.
To me, law school is nothing short of a bad gamble. There are some winners who strike it big, others who work their tails off to be able to say that it was worth their while, but many more who just end up with a lot of resentment at their decision and a hefty student loan bill each month.
With debtloads reaching six-figures for many students at a time when the always limited opportunities for high-paying Big Law jobs are shrinking, has a JD become, in effect, “a bad gamble?”