October 28, 2010
More Law Graduate Job Market Commentary
Slate Magazine has jumped on the no-jobs-for-law-grads bandwagon with a story titled A Case of Supply v. Demand. Ha ha, get it, supply versus demand. It's like the title of a case. Sorry, that was my inner Yakov Smirnoff coming out. Anyway, the thrust of the story is the person at Boston College who asked anonymously for tuition spent in return for dropping out, because of the bad job market; the student in bankruptcy court who named his law school in his petition because his school knew or should have known that he couldn't repay his student loans; NALP statistics that show the class of 2009 with only 88.3% holding employment, and about a quarter of those positions were temporary or low pay; and finally the paper (via SSRN) by David McGowan (University of San Diego School of Law) and Bernard A. Burk (Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance) who argue that the market for law grads is so bad that some of the lesser law schools might have to close.
I agree that the job prospects for those currently in law school are disconcerting. In one sense I am glad that Slate and other outlets publish this type of commentary. Otherwise, students and potential applicants complaining about the lack of jobs wouldn't have notice of what to expect when undertaking a really expensive curriculum with uncertain prospects. That said, law school applications are up and new schools are popping up. I don't understand why that is despite dire warnings from Slate and other news outlets. Prospective law students should take some time to research both the quality of their potential programs, and they shouldn't mislead themselves as to what happens at graduation. Take some personal responsibility over choices instead of blaming the schools. Law school is very expensive. The job market is bad. Now you know. [MG]