Considering Law School?

Lock the Law School Doors argues in favor of reining in law school admissions:

As firms begin an industrywide overhaul, which has entailed slashing jobs and reconsidering hidebound inefficiencies like the lockstep salary, students will compete for half as many $160,000-a-year jobs this year as they did last. According to the National Association for Legal Career Professionals, the 2008 recruiting season marked “what is likely to be the beginning of a weaker legal employment market that may last for a number of years.”   Meanwhile, as job opportunities abate, law school matriculation rates rise unchecked.

The article takes issue with three lower-ranked New York area law schools that claim “45 to 60 percent of their 2008 graduates who reported salary information are making a median salary of $150,000 to $160,000.”  The key to the school’s claim is who reported salary information.   What percentage of the graduating class is that?  How many of those who graduated into $45,000/year jobs want to report that fact to their law school?  The idea that such jobs await about half of those who graduate from law school is ludicrous.  The reality is that only the biggest firms pay those salaries, in the best of markets the biggest firms only hired from the cream of each year’s graduates–the top few percent, at most, from schools out of the top tier–and in this market they have significantly cut back on the number of new .  If you think such a job awaits you after law school take a cold shower, read the article, and talk to some recent graduates.

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  • Olivia Amchin

    I agree that the information is deceiving, however the schools do explicitly state that the statistics only apply to those who reported information. Based on this fact, law students should understand, just as we do, that these are not general results and do not give an accurate reading of all graduates.

    It is awful to think that so many law students are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to go through law school and earn a degree, with only a small hope of actually finding a job once they graduate.

  • xinyu li

    This is almost the same thing as false advertising! Students who see these positive numbers have high hopes of finding well paid jobs after law school except they dont. I think schools should be required to make pubic the percentage of students WHO actually report their salary information so students arent fooled when they dont read carefully.