Over 60,000 Wanna-be Lawyers are Delusional

Wow.  On September 26th, 60,746 people took the LSAT (the law school entrance exam).  This is the largest single administration in the history of the exam.

Are people not aware what is going on in the legal industry?  These folks are going to be saddled with six-figure debt and then attempt to enter an industry that is shrinking faster than any that I can think of.

Folks, seriously, go get your CS degree.  Or go work at a big-box retailer.  Or be a ski bum.  You at least won’t have the debt.

For a full report, check out Most Strongly Supportive’s post

  • ryan

    Couldn't agree more.

    How about a post that calls out the law schools who keep taking these wanna-be lawyers' money. It doesn't exactly fit the definition of a Ponzi or pyramid scheme, but it's close.

  • Any info on what happened with hiring in previous recessions? Is the downturn in lawerly jobs a true long term trend or only the last couple years? (I'm probably either optimistic or naive).

  • I don’t think we can learn from history here.   In my opinion, this is a paradigm shift of the entire legal ecosystem.  Before, economic realities caused layoffs, but didn’t change the business model of the law firm.  The law firm business model appeared broke before the recession and the recession is just moving the change along more quickly.  For more info, check out my law firm 2.0 series.

  • I think students are not getting very good guidance from their advisors, for one thing. In my limited experience as someone who does relatively informal advising for kids at Michigan that want to apply to law school, it seems that nobody's counseling these kids on precisely what it means to take on $180,000 in debt to do a job that frequently remains a mystery up until the first day of work. Because students are frequently hostile or merely unreceptive to an adult telling them they should ask themselves why they want to do a particular thing, advisers have just stopped asking why and have shifted to merely providing advice on how.

    And so the recession hits and the standard story of shiftless humanities majors funneling into law school to ride it out also coincides with a likely permanent contraction of the legal market. But law schools certainly aren't going to tell anybody that their job prospects upon graduation, even from a top 30 school, might not be great. Hell, in my hometown of Rochester, St. John Fisher (a small private college) was talking as recently as this summer about building a new law school. The idea that Upstate NY needs another low ranked law school is laughable and borderline criminal.

    Also, undergrads rarely have any idea about what it means to be a lawyer and that lots of it is dull and dreary and that nobody graduates law school and becomes a sports agent. I've also talked to countless students who have "always wanted to be a lawyer" but still can't articulate what they envision themselves doing. I actually wrote a column about this for my school's newspaper. It was a response to a NY Times article that suggested that law schools might want to start offering more non-law classes in order to reflect the reality that people do other things besides lawyering with their law degree. To which I said, in more words, that's really dumb. Here's the link if you're interested:


  • Great analysis.  Speaking of criminal, the state schools in CA are raising their law school rates 20-33%.  Ouch.   Great post, too.

    I think non-legal classes in law school are stupid too, but encourage schools to teach their students how to market and sell themselves.  So many folks have no clue how to present themselves upon graduation.

  • Who do you imagine doing the kind of teaching you're talking about? Presumably not the current roster of professors, many (most?) of whom have never had to sell anything other than their sterling credentials. And in the legal profession, the kinds of credentials that get you a teaching job without an actual legal career usually sell themselves. I can tell you that even without hearing the details of what you're talking about, this is the sort of thing that would be immensely useful. For a profession that's highly verbal and social, it's sort of amazing how completely unprepared lots of law students are for even simple 15-min interviews at which they're only expected to have an exhaustive knowledge of their own resume.

  • Frank Greces

    Still on my first cup of joe with C-SPAN's Wash. Journal wispering in my ears….

    This morning they addressed the infamous bubble bath that our country often finds itself taking on a periodic basis…their definition of a "bubble" went something like this…

    A bubble is a materialization in the market whereby an asset's price continues to increase as a result of the speculation that it will continue to increase, instead of on a education evaluation of the underlying value of that asset class….

    First we had the .com bubble….(although I think a lot of great companies came out of that bath looking clean an shiny….including my alma mater at Expedia.com)…

    Then we had the housing bubble…(yeah, my condo in Miami on the water is still under water 🙁 but the view goes well with my morning joe 🙂

    And now…drum roll please…..we have the Lawyer bubble….while I think many of them are in need of a good bathing at this point, I have hopes that history will again repeat itself, and a few great companies will be born during this time of change.

    Rock on..


  • Abe

    But if they get to take your class it'll all be worth it! Hey Jason. Love the blog – hope you're doing well. Please post more eigenharp videos 😉

    Abe Alexander

    • Glad that you were gainfully employed before the melt down. Hope all is well and I will aim to please.

      Jason Mendelson

      Sent from my iPhone
      – please forgive iTypos.

  • mummey
  • Sent from my iPhone
    – please forgive iTypos.

  • Law schools are in plenty in the country now a days. ut to find the best Law school is what counts for. law students should do some more research work on cases if they want to make their future secure as there are going to be a lot of graduates this year. Much more than the previous year.

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