Recently, USA Today ran an article about some recent law school grads that are blaming their law schools for their unemployment. The article states that the average student borrows more than $59,000 for a public law school, more than $91,000 for a private school, and the employment rate percentage is now in the 80s. Student blogs, websites, and organizations are developing a similar theme: “Dear Law School, You should have told me that I would have six figure debt and no job when I graduate.”
I admit that many law schools have career service departments that focus on OCI (on campus interviews) and seem to let the remaining students fend for themselves with a handful of fliers on interview tips and a list of jobs that 300 other students are fighting over. I agree with the argument that law schools should admit fewer students to make the market stronger for its graduates…but if I was smart enough to get into law school, I should be smart enough to know that there has always been too many lawyers. There are too many lawyers because private (and some public) law schools are money making businesses.
I had no idea what to expect from law school since I was the first among my family and friends to attend law school. I did know that tuition was going to cost around $75,000 and that the job market was already competitive (in 2004). I did not know the first-year private attorney’s average starting salary, but I could have discovered that with a little research on my part. While I sympathize with the recent grads on the job hunt and agree with the criticism against law schools’ admittance and career service practices – law school was my choice, every loan I took out was my choice, and the job market….well, it is tight in nearly every field. I cannot blame the schools for failing to put a warning label on their applications stating: “Likely to cause debt and unemployment.”