The Lawyer Bubble

, The Am Law Daily


Anyone wondering how one key component of the legal profession's current crisis came to be need look no further than some law school deans.

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What's being said

  • Law

    I am not affiliated with CWRU or its law school. This article ignores the differences in placement at Case Western in the JD prefered category. Not every law student attends law school with the intention on becoming a practicing, bar licensed lawyer. Case Western's students are not unique in this respect, but many of Case Western's students appear to attend law school for other purposes- say business, for example. The legal profession and students attending law school have been changing from the old school- going to practice- to a new school, where the skills learned are what is valuable. Many law students will graduate with combined degrees and seek employment in public health, business, policy, healthcare, finance or accounting, and other realms.

  • Albert Davenport

    Another factor is that some legal tasks have been outsourced to India and other low-wage countries. Large corporations have rebelled against high hourly rates. Even with contraction in the overall number of firms, the supply will outstrip demand leading to lower salaries. Given the costs Mr. Harper cites, other graduate programs may provide a better value over the long haul.

  • RD Legal Funding

    A very hard hitting article and brilliantly written. It's this kind of perspective backed by real world and transparent facts that are going to help those graduate students who are suing the law schools for in their allegations manipulating or hiding statistics to have a real chance to win.

  • soon-to-be-retired lawyer

    As you point out, less than half of CWR's 2011 graduating law students were employed in full-time lawyer jobs. With the nearly exclusive reliance on law school grades in hiring decisions, this almost certainly means that those who did get jobs were at or near the top of the class. I'd be willing to bet that everyone who enters law school tells themselves that they will make sure they get great grades so that they will be among the lucky few who get jobs. Even students who were less than stellar students in undergraduate school tell themselves that they will work harder, or work smarter, to make sure they get the grades needed to get hired. And then, for about half of them, reality hits during the first year. They get C's and B's, if they're lucky. By then they have paid for the first year. They tell themselves that they will do better in years 2 and 3. Come Year 2, they don't do better, but by then, they have paid for 2 years of law school. What kind of job will they get if they drop out that will pay enough to pay those student loans back? So they stick it out and graduate, hoping against hope that they will find a job.

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