Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Voice of Experience

"The problem with you people," says the law school cartel, "is that you have no concept for the value of what we're offering.  A JD is a valuable and versatile investment that more than pays for itself.  Further, you embark upon a voyage of discovery of legal scholarship while defending liberty, pursuing justice, and being the instrument of change.  This is not about something so pedestrian or philistine as a job, but a life-long pursuit."

Or:  "Problems in the legal arena now are due to the Great Recession, and not due to any JD over-production or other claimed systemic issues.  Why, back as early as 2005, law-graduates were well sought after and commanded high salaries." 

Some would beg to differ...

As 7:13 PM well put it, "Law is a mirage; there is no oasis there." I speak from what I have observed over 20 years as a patent lawyer. Patent law was a great field, not yet flooded, 20 years ago when I entered, still a veritable ladies and gentlemen's club where professionals treated one another largely with respect. That is perhaps the way the practice of law generally was 50 years ago. Patent law has changed as the field became flooded. It is now not civil, cut throat, mean spirited, filled with lies and deceit as people stumble over one another looking for paying clients.

Law is a mirage. It has been an illusion that you could long term make a decent living as a lawyer for at least 25 years. I know. I have seen what happens in the long term even to those who get a good start. Moreover, that mirage and illusion has been kept alive by the untruthful, deceitful lies of the law school industry regarding employment statistics. Only a complete fool would buy a law degree at any price these days. The work continues to decline, and the competition for what exists continues to increase.


Nando, I want to thank you again for soldiering on in this crusade against the plague known as the law school scam. I graduated law school in 1991 and despite having worked in Biglaw, in-house and Midlaw, I consider myself a failure in life. Sometimes I wish I had never gone to law school.

Let me give you a State of the Union Address on the legal "profession." The market is GLUTTED. PAYING clients are harder to come by. No one wants to pay for legal services anymore. I never imagined 22 years out of law school I would be hitting the pavement hustling for clients who are nickel and diming my fees because the law schools graduate kids who don't know how to practice law and undercut on fees.

It is harder to make a buck as a lawyer these days. Sometimes I feel like Mad Max and I am in Thunderdome struggling to preserve my life. Is this a way to live? Do the lemmings who read the NYTimes and think "wow, I can sneak into GULC this cycle" believe they have a shot of getting it all? I went to law school at a time when it was cheap. I had no student loan debt. I had excellent credit. I bought nice homes, bought a $90K car and been married three times. Yet the law did something to me. It made me a fucking douche, it made me a monster, it created a hunger for money. The difference between me and a greedy law school dean is that I actually bust my ass 70-80 hours a week to make 40% of what that cocksucking dean at New England Law School makes a year. He gets a raise because he gives Chief Justice Roberts a paid jaunt in Malta for the summer. Did I get a raise? NO, I got Obamacare costs. I got higher payroll costs. I may have to cut staff and their hours to avoid Obamacare liability. Meanwhile these son of a bitch deans and law professors host wine and cheese "lectures" and talk about the state of the legal economy and how it is poised to make a comeback. What do these fuckers know? They are not on the frontlines like I am. They are isolated on their ivory perches and so disconnected from reality.

I stopped giving money to my law school. Two years ago, the new dean of my law school called me and asked me if I would put $10K on a banquet table to sponsor a fundraiser. I told the dean to go fuck himself and hung up. I never got a call from my alma mater again. I wish I could hit that motherfucker in the snout but telling him to go fuck himself felt good.

I do not know why anyone would want to be a lawyer today. I would rather be a plumber or a cop than be a hack in a suit. Lawyers are disrespected nowadays by every segment of society. Cops hate lawyers. Judges hate lawyers. Joe Sixpack hates lawyers. So why are people willing to still in this day, become a debt slave so you can hustle everyday to land a non-paying client and get no respect from society? It just doesn't make any fucking sense to throw your future away by subsidizing these motherfucking law school deans, professors and administrators who are living high on hog. Stop the madness and starve the beast.

Douglas Oglesby Wrote:

I graduated from a top 10 law school in 1971. I have many years' experience at executive levels in very large corporations and been a senior counsel and partner in major law firms. The legal profession is manifestly in need of major reform and fewer lawyers. Much of the work done by lawyers is routine and, with adequate supervision by an experienced lawyer, could be performed by an accomplished paralegal. Many of the lawyers I have seen in small firms and solo practices are incapable of performing anything other than routine, mundane legal tasks, and indeed, a large number are simply incompetent. The ABA and state bar associations serve little purpose other than to ensure a closed shop to preserve the market for law school graduates.

The last thing the profession needs are more law schools graduating more mediocre lawyers.


Non-trads, the future is bleak, despite the law school cartel's hand-waving and denial of structural changes within the industry.  Don't listen to the people who don't actually do the work; listen to those who do and then decide.

JD's are not worth the price tag, nor is the make-work legal "scholarship" that is funded by it.  If you must seek further education, put your hard-earned cash towards something else.

1 comment:

  1. Non-traditional students are even further dicked, especially if they have a spouse and children. The kids suffer financially too, since they lose at least one income-earner during most of the three year sentence known as law school.

    I remember seeing non-trads - who excelled at Third Tier Drake - not landing any summer gigs. The fact remains that law firms typically do not want to hire anyone over the age of 30. They want someone who is impressionable, since those people are easier to mold.

    When I see non-trads leaving jobs where they had benefits, a pension, or a decent salary, I shudder. It truly is a shame.