The Continuing Disappointment of the ABA’s Response to Law School Transparency Requests: Can No One (Short of Governmental Pressure) Appeal to the ABA to Protect Law Students and Pre-Law Students?
The grim state of the legal employment market for new lawyers—and the scanty, often deceptive and almost always self-serving data that the ABA requires law schools to provide about their graduates’ employment—has been a subject of this blog and other legal commentators for awhile now.
The ABA Journal summarizes two positive trends for the U.S. legal employment market. First, overall legal employment increased by an estimated 1,500 jobs in April; second, demand for legal services increased by 2 percent in the first quarter of 2011 on a year-over-year basis, and also grew slightly in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Law School Debt Gets Uglier for Law School Students in the Last Decade: A Debt-Reduction Checklist for Law School Applicants
On Friday the 13th, it’s appropriate to blog about something not entirely cheerful. The Hartford Business Journal reports that from “2001 to 2010, the average amount borrowed annually by law students for their three-year degrees increased 50 percent…This past academic year, law students borrowed an average of $68,827 for public educations and $106,249 for private educations,” “far [outpacing] the rate of inflation.” As a rough way to think about this, it means that well over half of average law school tuition is debt-financed.
Two of the real pleasures of doing what I do at Advise-In Solutions are providing long-term support to my clients and helping clients further develop skills that will help each be a better, more professional lawyer. Those are reasons that Advise-In works with a limited number of clients. Not only is that the best way to get the measurable LSAT and admission results my clients and I want but it also invests me in their success in a way that just isn’t possible for a high-volume business.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of protecting your professional identity as early as possible—for potential law school applicants, that means that you don’t start managing your online profile (including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, what’s available about you from search engines, what e-mails you send, etc.) when you apply for law school or a job after law school. You start now.
Henry Riggs, president emeritus of Harvey Mudd College, did a terrific piece in this Sunday’s Education Life section of The New York Times, entitled “The Price of Perception.” The subtitle: “Cost Has Nothing to do with Tuition. It’s Economics, Stupid.”
Positive Legal Employment Undercurrents Continue: Advise-In’s Prediction of Earlier Law Firm New Associate Starting Dates is Confirmed
Last week I talked about a positive undercurrent for U.S. legal employment, namely that law firm lateral hiring jumped sharply in 2010. I said then that I thought that the next good sign would be that many law firms that had delayed starting dates for new associates in the past year or two would likely move back to their more typical fall starting dates.
The New York Times ran a front page article yesterday about a cop whose Facebook profile listed his occupation as “human waste disposal.” Clever, right? Cleverer if you share the implicit politics, but clever regardless. Clever until the officer was involved in a fatal shooting, a reporter looked at his Facebook page, the cop was placed on desk duty and had to backpedal with a public apology. Not so clever, and though the officer seems to have weathered the storm, there’s little doubt in my mind that his career advancement opportunities have been at best, delayed and at worst, ended.
Lateral hiring of associates at law firms (from small to large firms) increased 61% last year. Although the increase was hardly universal, with 25% of reporting firms indicating that their lateral hiring last year had declined, a 61% increase is a lot, and it follows two consecutive years of decline in lateral hires.
Legal Sector Continues Countercyclical Employment Decline for Second Straight Month with Small Job Loss
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the U.S. legal sector lost about 500 jobs in March. In itself, that wouldn’t be cause for too much concern. But it means that for the second consecutive month, the legal sector has lost jobs while the U.S. economy has been adding jobs at a fairly rapid pace, and unemployment has fallen to 8.8%.
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