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 associates. If you think such a job awaits you after law school take a cold shower, read the article, and talk to some recent graduates.