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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%.   



ABA Subcommittee Proposes to Make Law School Graduate Employment Data Slightly More Transparent: A Quarter-Loaf is Better than Nothing (except if it’s Mistaken for a Whole Loaf)

The consumer information subcommittee of the Standards Review Committee of the American Bar Association has proposed “controversial” new standards for law schools’ reporting of their graduates’ employment.  Among the changes, reports the National Law Journal, are that “law schools would disclose the percentage of students whose employment status after nine months is unknown, as well as the percentage with law school-funded jobs. Additionally, schools would have to report the percentage of employed graduates who have jobs requiring bar passage and those in non-legal jobs. Schools would have to stipulate how many students are in part-time and full-time jobs, and would continue to disclose the number of graduates in business, government, judicial clerkships and academia.”



For Second Year in a Row, Mid-Tier Law Schools Distinguish Themselves (for Raising their Tuition More than Anyone Else)

The U.S. News law school rankings always generate a lot of comment in the legal press.  For the most part, the attention is devoted to who rose, who fell, what changed and what didn’t.  Advise-In Solutions is also focused on law school value, and so in addition to discussing the rankings generally, we’ve done an annual analysis of the tuition costs of law school by rank when the U.S. News rankings appear.



Advise-In’s Prediction of a Decline in Law School Applications is Confirmed: Applications are Down (Way Down)

Back in December, I said that I suspected that law school applications could be down this year, contrary to the earlier prediction of law school admissions personnel that applications would continue to rise, as they had in each of the last two years.  Earlier this year, I reiterated Advise-In’s prediction of a law school application decline and indicated that the drop might be sharper than I’d previously thought.



Servicing Your Law School Costs:  Consider the Implications of Debt Before You Decide on a Law School

Almost half of the over 3,000 respondents in Above the Law’s recent survey on educational debt of lawyers said they had over $100,000 in educational debt.  That’s a depressing, though hardly surprising, report.  On the bright(er) side, many fewer reported high-interest revolving debt, such as credit card debt.  But, of course, educational debt also delayed or deferred other investments, such as buying a home, and it materially affects (for most respondents) their choice of what job they take (keeping in mind that the respondents in this survey appear to be among those lucky enough to have a legal job).



U.S. Legal Sector Loses Almost 3,000 Jobs in February

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the U.S. legal sector lost 2,900 jobs in February.  Its estimate is subject to revision, and those revisions are sometimes significant.  And February is often a slow time for U.S. legal hiring, so the data aren’t catastrophic.



National Law Journal Law School Report: Some Very Helpful Data (within Limits) for Law School Applicants and their Advisors

The National Law Journal published a terrific suite of articles recently relating to its annual report on law schools.  They are must-reads for those considering law school and their advisors.  The basic data are the top 50 law schools, by percentage of last year’s placements in the NLJ top 250 law firms.



Stanford Law School’s Tuition Increase Sparks Outrage:  Stanford?  Really?

Stanford Law School announced an increase in 2011-12 tuition of approximately 5.75%.  The reaction has generally not been kind.  Well, ok, no one considering law school wants to pay more (free tuition would be even better).  But those who want to put Stanford in the ethical stock seem a little naïve about what law schools are and a little near-sighted about what Stanford is relative to other law schools.



The Ideology of US News (or any Other) Law School Rankings:  Does It Change What Law School Applicants Should Do?

There’s a terrific article by Malcolm Gladwell in the most recent issue of The New Yorker.  Gladwell’s focus is on college rankings but along the way he talks a little about US News law school rankings (and his argument applies to both).  Rankings—especially the US News rankings—have long been favorite targets of diverse constituencies, ranging from law schools who believe they’re underranked (which includes just about everyone, and especially those like the farcically self-ranked Thomas Cooley Law School) and the ABA, which pitches and moans about Read More >>


Spate of Fraudulent (and might-as-well-be-fraudulent) Numbers from Law Schools: Why Isn’t the ABA Doing More to Protect Law School Applicants?

In the last week, we’ve been treated to some interesting stories about law schools.  “Interesting” in the nuanced sense that I learned from Minnesotans.  The villains were Villanova and Thomas Cooley.  There is a hero, though: Washington & Lee.



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