Friday, June 15, 2012

"You Can Do Anything With a Law Degree..."

...until you find out you can't, of course.  One data point does not make a trend, but darn it all if data points keep piling up and graphing out to the same conclusion - a JD does not help you outside of the practice of law. 

"Prior to attending law school, she worked at investment firms, so she was hoping to land a job at a securities law firm or another related field that could use her experience. Instead, says Tokarska, the only position she was offered after graduating was a $10 per hour part-time clerkship. Knee deep in debt and unable to find a decent job, she opened her own law office in San Diego in 2008. "I thought if I got a higher degree, I'd have a better chance to get a job, but that's not what happened," she says."

We can all debate why this is the case - the article suggests oversaturation of JDs, others would say that lawyering skills are not all that transferable to other jobs, what have you.  In any event, it turns out that neither law firms nor various "related fields" were interested.  This is not to impugn Tokarska, who by all accounts was a nontrad using her JD to make her more valuable in the marketplace and lead to some new advancement opportunity.  Just like the Office of Career Services said the JD would deliver, no doubt.

Sadly, its just not the 1970s anymore, no matter how hard the Law School cartel refuses to face facts.  Some would list her graduation date of 2005 as "the beginning of the end," although there appear to be legions who would claim there never was a "Golden Age" of Law regardless.  Either way, Law firms were starting to cut back, but the ABA Journal and other publications kept touting the "difficult" stories of law grads faced with too many choices for employment, not too few.  And the Law School Deans, Admins, Career Services offices and the like were all too happy to chime in, until 2008-2010 or so when "no comment" became the standard answer to employment statistics.

Nontrads, here it is again - do not go to Law School for any other reason other than to be a lawyer.  Period.  And if you must go, make sure (1) you know and understand the business of law, and (2) are capitalized well enough to hang out a shingle after bar passage, after the costs of three years of tuition, prior to ever darkening the door of a Law School.

Otherwise, that JD will be a $150k (and counting) albatross around your neck. 

1 comment:

  1. One thing is certain for those who are not from the ownership class:

    If you decide to go to law school, then you WILL incur additional NON-DISCHARGEABLE debt.

    Perhaps the law school pigs were thinking of this when they squeal "You can do anything with a law degree!"