Lawyerin'

“The critics of legal education are right. There are too many law schools and there are too many law students and we need to do something about that.”

Frank Wu, the chancellor and dean of the University of California Hastings College of the Law, “which will admit 20 percent fewer students than in years past, a decision that required the college to eliminate several staff positions.

More to come; this is the tip of a very large iceberg. If you’re considering law school, please e-mail me so I can personally talk you out of it. (NB - I love my job but I’m unreasonably fortunate!)

“Given all the foregoing, it perhaps shouldn’t surprise us that the attitude of legal academia toward the supposed employment and salary data that law schools publish has been a systematic indifference to the continual broadcast of enormous quantities of complete bullshit, in the most precise technical sense of the term. The employment numbers are, to speak precisely, bullshit, in that nobody (or more exactly nobody in a position to do something about this) really knows the extent to which they’re false, because nobody in that position wants to know. The “96% employed with an average salary of $145,000″ claims aren’t lies, exactly, because in order to lie one must, somewhat paradoxically, care about the truth. Those claims aren’t lies: they’re bullshit, because the people who make those claims don’t know what the real numbers are and don’t care.”
Lawyers screwed, ABA just now realizing it 

This isn’t surprising to anyone who has had their eyes open in the legal profession for the past six years.

Whether BigLaw lawyers, boutique specialists or solo practitioners, U.S. lawyers can expect slower rates of market growth that will only intensify competitive pressures and produce a shakeout of weaker competitors and slimmer profit margins industrywide. Law students will find ever-more-limited opportunity for the big-salary score, but more jobs in legal services outside the big firms. Associates’ paths upward will fade as firms strain to keep profits per partner up by keeping traditional leverage down.

And those who wish to rise above the disruption will have to deal with technology that swallows billable work, a world market that takes the competition international, and a more sophisticated corporate client with vast knowledge available at the click of a mouse.

The part they don’t mention is the abdication of responsibility of the ABA and higher education institutions in general in allowing a massive surplus of lawyers to be churned out of far too many U.S. law schools in the vain hope of artificially sustaining a law school bubble that must burst, and burst quickly. This is completely aside from the exorbitant and mostly unjustified tuition that law schools charge, shackling their students with debt burdens that they can’t hope to pay off without those high paying jobs that don’t exist anymore.

H/t to Prakash.

sweatshorts:

Bitter? Me? Never.

Lawyers, this is how we deal with things.

Conversation I had tonight at a TC Disrupt event

Dude in track suit (DITS): Hey, do you work for Tumblr?
Me: Yeah.
DITS: So, what do you do?
Me: I just started as General Counsel.
*/me looks cheery and ready to answer questions*
*DITS gets a weird look on his face, looks irritated*
DITS: Yeah, does anyone here work for Tumblr who isn't...one of you?
Me: ...