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New York Times weighs in on debt, law school tuition and dim job prospects. Scam blogs rejoice!

New York Times shines a light on law school employment stats

New York Times weighs in on debt, law school tuition and dim job prospects. Scam blogs rejoice!

About Ron Walters

Ron Walters is a 2010 graduate from the University of St. Thomas School of Law, where he served as Notes and Comments Editor of the school's Law Journal. He received his undergraduate degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of one published article, Goodbye to Good Bird: Considering the Use of Contact Agreements to Settle Contested Adoptions Arising Under the Indian Child Welfare Act, 6 U. St. Thomas L.J. 270 (2008). His hobbies include running, bicycling, soccer, tennis and cooking. Ron is an avid podcast listener and doesn't miss an episode of Fresh Air with Terry Gross, This American Life, or Radiolab.

7 comments

  1. I agree that the ABA employment survey and standards should be revised. There should also be better dissemination of that information to colleges so prospective students can add real facts to their decision making.

    See the following:

    http://minnlawyer.com/jdr/2010/09/24/dear-recent-grad-its-more-complicated-than-that-signed-the-aba/

    http://www.abanet.org/lsd/legaled/value.pdf

  2. Another blog to add to the mix is The Law School Tuition Bubble, http://lawschooltuitionbubble.wordpress.com/

    Heather: I agree that more information is helpful. It’s hard though to get through to prospective students just how long the odds are. It’s a lottery player’s mentality; someone has to win – why not me?

  3. Thanks for the comments, everyone. Another point I’d like to make is this: just because existing law firms aren’t hiring doesn’t mean that there isn’t money to be made in law. The economy is changing and the market for legal services is changing. As was pointed out in the Times piece, for example, more legal work is now being outsourced to contract attorneys than ever before. Big law firms may not be nimble enough to take advantage of these new opportunities in the market. If law students are really as smart as they think they are, I’d expect the current crop of under-employed twenty-somethings to do some real innovating–something entrepreneurial, something that would challenge Big Law’s market share.

  4. I appreciate your perspective on this article — I’ve read some nasty blog posts that accused law schools of manipulating employment data, but your post was refreshingly unbiased.

  5. Hi Ron,

    Thanks for this article. As a fellow blogger, please allow me to bring an entirely different perspective into all this … (and btw I also appreciate you not “blaming” the law schools …

    Global consciousness is changing. The “adversarial” system that escalates conflict and requires years and the deaths of many trees to resolve a dispute is OVER.

    Take it from a Harvard-educated attorney who just left a DREAM legal job. Even if you’re not one of the unlucky law school graduates who’s unable to find a job, you may end up as one of the unlucky ones who DOES find a job … and then you may be even more surprised when all that money and security does not make you happy.

    You may find yourself, as I did a few years ago, in a hospital bed having a near-death experience, wondering what the heck you were thinking spending all that time and money going to law school …

    But here’s the good news. Those of us who make good lawyers have SKILLS. There is no reason to confine your beautiful writing and reasoning skills to the law. You can do what I did. Start a sex blog. Lol, I’m partly tongue in cheek, but not entirely. I started a seduction blog that turned into a six-figure income as a life coach.

    And now instead of feeling depressed by the way our adversarial system “resolves” conflicts in ways that don’t make anybody happy, I feel all lit up inside each time I help one of my clients make a major breakthrough to happiness. Many of my clients end up quitting jobs they hate to pursue their true passions.

    There is hope for all you law students and lawyers yet … be creative … find a new way to use your skills. (And by all means, PLEASE start a daily meditation practice. That’s what got me on my path.)

    cheers,
    Erika Awakening

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