Friday, September 9, 2011

Cooley Law School report finds "the blogs and media have it almost completely wrong" - law school is a great career choice

Paul Campos and Elie Mystal are going to blow a gasket over this one. Cooley has released a report  concluding that the state of the legal job market is not as bad as many have been claiming. The report, the first in a series that will analyze the legal job market, is based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A second report will analyze NALP data and the final report will discuss compensation for attorneys,

This first report, dated August, 2011, can be accessed here.

In the meantime, an excerpt from the report's conclusion:

Contrary to the assertions of the bloggers and media, who tend to rely heavily on anecdotal information about the world of the large law firms, the legal occupations and lawyers in particular have been considerably less affected by the recession than other management and professional occupations. Of the ten management and professional occupation categories identified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, legal occupations had the smallest increase in unemployment rate both from 2001 to 2010 and from 2007 to 2010. Among the more detailed management and professional occupations most likely to be career options for potential lawyers, only a handful had lower unemployment rates than lawyers at the end of the decade.
. . . .

In sum, the data shows that the blogs and media segment have it almost completely wrong. Unbiased national data from the past ten years establishes that the legal profession has one of the lowest unemployment rates, one of the most stable job markets, and is one of the least susceptible to the effects of economic recession, making the legal profession one of the best career choices.

Hat tip to Professor Michael Masinter.


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This report doesn't jibe with what I am seeing as a recent Cooley grad. If everything is great, then why is it that 50% of the recent law grads with whom I kept in touch are working in retail or extremely low-paying jobs?

It might be helful, Cooley, to learn the valuable lesson of the ostrich: the ostrich can stick its head in the sand all he wants and not see the lion, but as he soon learns, sticking his head in the sand doesn't stop the lion from coming. It just delays him from seeing it. Keep up the stupid articles and comments that insist there is nothing wrong with the current market and legal education model. You're fooling no one - least of all those poor Cooley grads stuck in nightmarish retail jobs after spending $150,000 to go to your law school.

Posted by: A Misfortune | Sep 11, 2011 8:19:03 PM

So ridiculous--as any lawyer out there in the market fighting to get a job or run their own small practice in the part-time while doing contract doc review projects knows, this report is all BS. The market sucks--as one of my older lawyer friends says, the glory days of the 80'[s and early 90's are over. Unless you're top ten in your class, legal employment blows--and the salaries being paid now are ridiculous even if you do get a job--less than a freaking 2nd grade teacher. Thanks for posting this!

Posted by: chicagolawyer | Sep 11, 2011 10:15:09 AM

I won't go into all of the reasons why the methodology of this report is wrong (hint: cherry picked and false statistics), but I look forward to discovery in the Cooley lawsuit and what that will reveal about the employment of Cooley's graduates!

Posted by: anon | Sep 9, 2011 3:53:50 PM

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