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January 5, 2012
ABA President Blames Law Students for Going To Law School In A Shrinking Job Market
William Robinson, president of the American Bar Association, gave the most amazing interview to Reuters yesterday. One could call his words passionately defending his organization or a clumsy expression of how out of touch he is on the reality of the legal job market. The fact that Reuters titles the piece ABA head has little sympathy for jobless lawyers doesn’t do Mr. Robinson any favors. In essence it’s the law graduate’s fault for not having a job:
It's inconceivable to me that someone with a college education, or a graduate-level education, would not know before deciding to go to law school that the economy has declined over the last several years and that the job market out there is not as opportune as it might have been five, six, seven, eight years ago.
And before anyone starts raising the issue of misleading job statistics, he’s got that covered. There’s only four schools out of 200 that have statistic problems. So graduates, you should have figured it out for yourselves, what with free will and all that. Eh, we’ll see how those class action suits play out. Maybe someone might have to revise their numbers or something. As for the Senate, two or three inquiries out of a hundred members hardly qualify as a groundswell of comment. I don’t know, maybe a hearing or two might change an opinion on that. Maybe not.
The one comment that got me was the statement on whether tenure practices raise the cost of tuition.
When I was going to law school, and I sold my Corvair to make first-semester tuition and books for $330, a sizeable portion of the faculty had tenure. They had tenure then and they have tenure now.
No statement about whether he had to walk twelve miles in the snow to get to torts class. I doubt that at the best reading of his statement that it would resonate with the disgruntled graduate facing a rather large debt load. For those, they should have chosen a non-elite law school that charged less. So, in a nutshell (do I owe West any money for using that phrase), quityer[whining]. I wonder if the ABA will use this as marketing to get more members.
Speaking of tenured law faculty, check out this piece from The Careerist. Better than being a lawyer is to be a law faculty member. It covers a job survey conducted by AOL of the best and worst jobs out there. Law faculty is one of the best jobs out there with some of the most time off:
While the entire list could have just been comprised of different types of college professors, we listed only the highest-paying position. Law professors have a median income approaching $100,000, and have a top range of nearly $150,000. Becoming a law professor only requires a law degree, although many today also have a Master of Laws and even a Ph.D. The time spent seems well worth it. Besides the generous salary, they enjoy unique benefits "including access to campus facilities, tuition waivers for dependents, housing and travel allowances, and paid leave for sabbaticals," according to the BLS. Between these sabbaticals and the summer vacation, most professors work nearly 400 hours less than the average U.S. employee. Money magazine and Salary.com rated college professors at No.2 in their 2006 "Best Jobs in America" annual report.
Librarians come in 6th place for best job (law faculty is 2nd):
Hours worked/year: 1,819
Median hourly earnings: $27.35
No. employed: 148,240
Hours worked/week: 38.3
Median annual income: $54,500
Top annual income: $83,510
There are several different types of librarians, and depending on the position, workloads can either be demanding or much lighter than the national average. According to the BLS, those working at colleges can work full-time, and even weekends and some holidays. However, nearly half of librarians (63,000 out of the 148,000 positions) work in elementary, middle and high schools. This means that their schedule is limited to the morning to mid-afternoon on school days, and rarely in the summers. U.S. News and World Report listed the job in its "Best Careers of 2009" report.
What a world. [MG]